Clear-up of Runcorn and Widnes is a multi-million pound operation!
A new inquest conducted by the Weekly News discovered figures that reveal that the amount of money spent clearing and cleaning up contaminated land in Widnes is almost seven times as much in the past ten years compared to what has been spent in Runcorn.
The clean-up at St Michaels Golf Course which is destroyed by arsenic has received over half of the £5,197,332 of funding given to be spent across the whole of Halton.
The remediation of land in Widnes had a whopping £4.5million invested to clear the land whereas only £677,240 was used to fund clearing up Runcorn.
The only other project carried out in Widnes was the clearing up of the former Catalyst industrial estate for the Mersey Gateway. From 2012 to 2014 this project cost £1,477,468.
In Runcorn there were two refinement projects, one of which was for to remove contaminated land at Brindley Mound which cost more than £600,000 between 2007 and 2008. The second project was to clean up the allotments at Heath Road for £67,719 between 2013 and 2014.
These figures are excluding the money spent on clearing asbestos.
The majority of the money was awarded as grants by the Government from the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs.
In some circumstances Halton Borough Council had to pay for the work to be completed up front and then claim the money back form the relevant all totalling up to £146,000.
A spokesperson for the council said, “The expenditure on land remediation projects is dominated by two externally-funded projects, that are both coincidentally in Widnes.
"One is St Michael’s Golf Course, a long-running remediation project that was the outcome of the land being formally assessed and determined as statutory contaminated land under Part 2A of the Environment Act 1990.
“The scale of the site has meant that significant funds were needed to undertake the remedial scheme. It should be noted that sites across the borough have been investigated under that regime.
“The other major remediation expenditure has been on advance preparation works for the Mersey Gateway bridge, which is a borough-wide project.
“The advance works remediation was required in the area of most significant contamination that could have caused delays to the construction phase, and this happened to be on the Widnes side of the river.”
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