Town planners have given the go ahead to building a new housing estate in Holmfirth, Leeds, on the site of a former landfill site, despite an asbestos warning from a councillor.
The former landfill site is said to be contaminated by asbestos, mercury, arsenic and other dangerous toxins.
Most recently, it was the site of the former Midlothian Vauxhall garage.
The Strategic Planning Committee voted 5-2 in a meeting with 7 members to approve the housing scheme.
Conservative Councillor, Ken Sims, warned colleagues at Huddersfield Town Hall that Kirklees Council will be liable if children develop serious health defects in the future.
Councillor Sims explained that there were ‘huge problems’ in building on the former tip located on New Mill Road.
He said to colleagues, “I want my conscience to be clear and I want this recorded.”
“I can tell you, because I’m old enough to know, what went down that tip. Asbestos, mercury, arsenic. Coal tar from the coking plant lower down and all the toxic chemicals that go with that.”
“In those days there were no checks on what went down these landfill sites. Every mill owner and engineer in the Holme Valley stuffed things down there, as well as domestic waste, and dead horses.”
“I don’t want children in the future to be born with deformities, brain tumours and cancers that have been outcoming when some of these sites have been used.”
His asbestos warning is aimed at future generations, and he wants to ensure that those responsible for developing the site are ‘taken to task’ in the event of any health issues that arise.
He commented, “When the developers are finished with this site they will walk away. The onus will come back on the council and those that have made the decision.”
“You’ve only been given half the tale.”
Councillor Sims said that the plan to overlay the tip with a metre of topsoil was ‘absolutely crazy’.
His opinion is that the toxic waste should be completely removed before any construction works commence.
A colleague of Councillor Sims has backed him up on his claims.
Councillor Nigel Patrick has also strongly objected to development of the site.
He said that the council are acting irresponsibly and it’s beyond belief that they are allowing new homes to be built on the site.
He added, “That tip goes back to before there was any real control over what went into the ground.”
“I feel very sorry for the poor people that will be living on it.”
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