Housing development will be built on former Gas Distribution Centre in March

Former Gas Distribution in March will be transformed into housing development

Former Gas Distribution in March will be transformed into housing development - Credit: Archant

A former gas works site in March will be transformed into a new housing development despite concerns over “significant contamination”.

Around 19 houses including eight flats will be built on the brownfield land in Gas Road after planners gave the go ahead at a meeting on Wednesday (June 20).

The site was cleared in 1991, but officers said that a gas pipeline that crosses the site was “highly contaminated” yet “significant work” had been put in to “deal with the contaminated areas”.

Planning documents state: “The site is brownfield and significantly contaminated.

“The key concern relates to the treatment of the contaminated land as highlighted by objectors.

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“The applicant has demonstrated that appropriate safeguards and monitoring methods will be provided to safeguard existing residents, construction workers and future occupiers of the site.”

Councillor Peter Murphy, who sits on the planning committee, said: “We need to make sure that no corners are cut when it deals with the contamination issues around this site.

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“But this site should now be enhanced with a development.”

Conditions were imposed that deliveries to the site should avoid school drop and pick up times and that drivers would be made aware of events and road closures in the local area at specific times of the year.

Access to the site will be off Kirk Ogden Close.

Speaking at the meeting, David Caruso, acting on behalf of the agent, said: “This site was bought in 2015 along with four other sites which have been successfully built on.

“This is a very challenging site which has been empty for many years but it will be cleared of all contamination.

“This is a sustainable town centre location and a contribution will also be made to local open space projects.”

A design and access statement with the build said that the development would make an “important contribution towards the borough’s housing needs”.

“Redevelopment on the site will provide local employment during the construction phase, it will add to the customer base of the local area benefitting local business and town facilities,” it added.

“The development therefore must be regarded as a very significant economic benefit.

“It has also been designed to reflect the character and form of nearby residential development.”

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