Delays over toxic land clean-up

PUBLISHED: 11:57 29 November 2007 | UPDATED: 13:04 04 May 2010

FAMILIES living on toxic land in Littleport have faced a further delay in securing a clean-up operation for their homes. They are waiting to see whether Government cash will be available for the work. But a budget delay means the decision, due out this mo

FAMILIES living on toxic land in Littleport have faced a further delay in securing a clean-up operation for their homes.

They are waiting to see whether Government cash will be available for the work. But a budget delay means the decision, due out this month, has been put back.

Council officials, who are hoping for grant aid from the Department of Food and Rural Affairs under the Contaminated Land Capital Projects scheme, have been told the decision will be made in December.

They have been given assurances that the money to clean-up properties in Old School Close and Ponts Hill contaminated by chemicals from a former gas works on the site is being treated as high priority.

But the news is frustrating for homeowners who cannot sell their houses until they have been given a clean bill of health.

Liz Knox, East Cambridgeshire District Council's head of environmental services and housing, said: "We are very disappointed that the decision on our bid for funding has been delayed. We are as frustrated as the residents who have been affected by this issue and who simply want a resolution.

"We have already committed £370,000 of our own money to deal with the clean up of the land and will continue to push for a decision on the grant.

"Too many lives have been on hold waiting for this decision and further delay simply adds to these problems. We are making sure everything is in place so we are ready to move once we have confirmation of the grant.

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