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Leicestershire villagers chemical fear over construction plans

Leicestershire villagers chemical fear over construction plans
Construction work at a site in Leicestershire might not start until levels of contamination in the concrete have been tested.

Villagers from Husbands Bosworth are concerned that digging up a former depot belonging to vegetation management company LanGuard might release toxic chemicals from the weed killer paraquat into the air.

Planning permission for three houses at the Church Lane development was given three years ago, however, the group has now written to the council to ask for samples to be taken, according to thisisLeicestershire.co.uk.

It follows the submission of a detailed planning application to the council.

David Glithro, who lives opposite where the LanGuard depot was, told the source that paraquat could have been absorbed into gravel at the site before the surface was then covered in concrete.

"On dry hot days the wind would blow the dust plus its content of weed killer across from the LanGuard yard on to adjacent gardens, killing every plant. In later years, to prevent dust from blowing from the site, the whole yard was concreted over. I am concerned that once the soil is disturbed by building works, the pollution and contamination will resurface," he added.

According to the Pesticide Action Network UK, paraquat is "highly toxic" to animals and can have "serious and irreversible delayed effects" if it is absorbed.

The website added that one teaspoonful of the active ingredient is fatal, with death occurring up to 30 days after ingestion.

Helen Sheppard, from Church Lane, told thisisLeicestershire.co.uk that the site might not be safe for human occupation.

"We want tests and the results to be published before any part of the concrete yard is touched."

A spokesperson from LanGuard added that a contaminated land assessment and subsequent remedial actions were part of the plans which were approved three years ago.

"All the chemicals we use are approved for use in the public realm," he said.

The company, which is now based in another area of the village, has over 25 years' experience in the industrial and amenity sectors.

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Date: 24/08/2012 10:25:00

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