Government to pay costs for tackling copper contamination

Geograph (Eric Jones)

The Welsh Government will pay more than half of the costs for dealing with contaminated land on an Amlwch estate.

Tests carried out last year found 16 homes at the Craig y Don estate were polluted by arsenic and lead, which could pose a risk to human health.

The estate was built in the 1950s on the site of Gwaith Hills – a copper smelting works, which operated from 1786 to 1897, before being turned into a chemical plant.

Environment Minister, Hannah Blythyn, said the Welsh Government would cover 60% of the costs – with the rest being paid by Anglesey Council. It means residents will not need to pay for the work themselves.

She said: ”The remediation costs for contaminated land usually fall to the owner or occupier of the property, in cases where the original polluter no longer exists.”

”However, given a number of distinguishing factors at Craig Y Don, we felt it appropriate for the Welsh Government to step in to provide financial support for the remediation work.”

”Contaminated land mostly affects former industrial, inner city and dockland areas. I’m pleased to announce this funding, which will help return the land to being a safe and clean place for residents, the community and for future generations.”

The announcement comes after the local authority was accused by Amlwch town councillors to failing to act on the results of tests carried out on more than a hundred homes in October 2017.

But the leader of Anglesey Council, Llinos Medi, said residents on the estate had always been their first priority: ”This has been a challenging period for the residents of Craig y Don…through working in partnership we now have the funding needed to help all of them, be they tenants or homeowners.”

”I’m grateful to colleagues in Welsh Government for their financial support in ensuring these important works go ahead.”

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