Asbestos among contaminants which could block 26 homes in Norfolk village

The site of the development in Weeting, pictured here in 2009. Picture: Google

The site of the development in Weeting, pictured here in 2009. Picture: Google - Credit: Archant

Concerns over potential contamination from asbestos could see plans for 26 new homes in a south west Norfolk village refused.

Proposals to develop the site of a former parcel delivery company off Fengate Drove in Weeting, near Brandon, are set to be turned down by Breckland councillors pending a survey.

Breckland District Council’s contaminated land officer has objected to the development and has asked for more investigation into potential health risks for future homeowners.

Asbestos, found in the south of the site close to the railway line, was among the potentially hazardous materials found by inspectors with higher than normal levels of material which can easily become gas or vapours, known as ‘volatile organic compounds’, also found.

In the contaminated land officer’s response, he states: “This should be investigated further and considered in terms of risk to himan health.

“The possible impact of this on the proposed development is not clear enough at this stage. The applicant should detail how they propose to deal with asbestos present.”

Planning officers also highlighted Natural England’s concerns due to the potential risk of polluting controlled water.

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The report states: “The submitted information has not fully characterised the nature of soil and groundwater pollution beneath the site.”

In the site investigation interpretative report, inspectors said the former use of the site as a timber yard and linked waste disposal and demolition potentially could lead to gas and vapours being released due to building work and other site activities.

It states: “The historic use of the site could have introduced significant thickness of made ground and potentially unknown infilled pits as well as residual volatile chemicals.

“Therefore, it is considered likely that there is a potential source of ground gas and vapours on site.”

The report said these could affect future homeowners on the site.

In the conclusion to the report Breckland planning officers recommend the development should be refused on the basis of the potential contamination.

It states: “The site has known contamination and the exact extent has not be determined with further investigation required.”

The plans will be discussed at the next Breckland District Council meeting on Monday, February 11.