HC Deb 23 April 1986 vol 96 cc171-2W
Dr. Roger Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the number of incidents in each year since 1980 in which there has been evidence of re-emergence of contaminants, including the build-up of land-filled gases on former land-filled waste disposal sites and locations of previous industrial activity, together with information as to the usage of such redevelopment sites.

Mr. Waldegrave

There is no statutory requirement to notify this Department when such incidents occur, but its advice is sought from time to time by local authorities and others on the redevelopment of contaminated land. The advice in such cases is that a full chemical survey of the land should be made before plans for redevelopment are prepared, or remedial action is taken to overcome existing problems. Since 1980 we have given such advice on 39 such sites (none of them in Wales) where there had been a reported release of contaminants either by emissions of gas, leachate or materials breaking through the ground cover.

The breakdown by year is as follows:

1980 10
1981 5
1982 8
1983 5
1984 6
1985 5

Only a small number of these were former landfills; the majority were industrial or other sites where reclamation work was, or had been, necessary to restore the land to use. In some cases the intention was only to make the sites safe, but in the majority of cases redevelopment of the site was intended.