A report on the clean-up of a former agrochemical factory in Hauxton was submitted by developers last Thursday (October 18) so regulatory bodies can assess if the land is ready for homes to be built on.
Work to remediate the land was completed in November last year, and since then groundwater samples have continued to be taken to monitor the site as required by South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC).
The test results and information gathered over more than a six month period have now been submitted and will be reviewed by Environment Agency and District Council experts in consultation with the Health Protection Agency and other consultees to ensure the land meets the required standards.
Outline planning permission for up to 380 new homes was granted by councillors in 2010, but strictly on the condition that the site – that was historically contaminated when it operated as an agrochemical factory – was remediated and made suitable for residential use.
SCDC bosses have welcomed the submission of the monitoring report, but have reiterated that the regulatory bodies must give the land the green light before any building works will be allowed to go ahead.
Once SCDC officers have checked whether all the reports needed have been submitted by the developers they will be published on a section of the Council’s website set up to keep residents up to date during work on the site – www.scambs.gov.uk/bayersite.
A detailed planning application for the first phase of the new homes – which would see 201 properties built – has been submitted by Redrow Homes South Midlands.
This is expected to be determined in late November, but any consent would be on the basis that the site is confirmed as suitable for housing.
The first phase would include 56 two-bedroom properties, 54 three-bedroom houses, and 91 four and five-bedroom homes, alongside the Riddy Brook.
A second phase will provide 70 apartments for the over-55s, and in a final phase the listed former mill buildings will be brought back into use.
Cllr Nick Wright, SCDC cabinet member for planning, said: “The detailed reports will now be reviewed by our experts, along with the Environment Agency, Health Protection Agency and independent external consultants.
“We have always been very clear that no homes can be built until the developers demonstrate the land has been cleaned up to stringent standards – and that’s why we asked for monitoring to be carried out for at least six months after the clean-up was completed.
“The process to assess the results is expected to take some time, but it is vital we are absolutely confident before homes are built.”
Jennie Daly, managing director of Harrow Estates, said: “Although we are confident the remediation process has been successful development will not commence until the regulatory bodies have had the opportunity to review the validation information and are satisfied the site is suitable for its proposed use.”
For all the latest news see Thursday’s (November 1) Echo.