Report by James Cracknell
Residents living near disused gasworks sites across London and beyond – including a group fearful of a proposed development in Leyton – have formed a campaign group to call for new clean air rules.
The new alliance has been formed of people living near five gasworks sites “to make sure residents’ voices are heard” in any developments involving “potentially toxic sites”.
Earlier this year the Echo reported on how residents living near Lea Bridge Gasworks had expressed fears over plans to build hundreds of homes on the contaminated site – which the developer itself admitted could “present an environmental and human health risk”. Developer St William has submitted a planning application for 575 homes at Lea Bridge Gasworks, in ten buildings up to 18 storeys tall. The site abuts Leyton Jubilee Park.
Now residents with similar concerns about developments on gasworks in Southall, Bow, Hornsey and Brighton have joined forces to establish a group called Gasworks Communities United (GCU). They are demanding an urgent overhaul of regulations on the treatment of contaminated land to protect people’s health and wellbeing.
Kathryn Judd, from Kettlebaston Road, said: “St William must be robustly held to account by our elected representatives in the council and explain publicly how they are going to mitigate the pollution on these gasworks sites and the arrangements for independent assessment.
“In future, remediation needs to be more thoroughly planned from the outset, demonstrating that scientific advice has been heeded and that the health of residents is a priority before, during and after construction.”
For more information on Gasworks Communities United (GCU):