Motherwell couple start legal action over 'toxic homes'
Published: 16th Jul 2012 11:25:06
A couple from North Lanarkshire have launched legal action against a housing association over fears their home was built on toxic land.
Angela and Robert McManus live on the Watling Street estate in Motherwell, which has a history of industrial use.
They claim the site was never properly decontaminated and is responsible for a number of health complaints.
Their legal action against Lanarkshire Housing Association aims to establish there is a problem which needs action.
The Watling Street estate was previously occupied by factories and industrial plants.
Since new housing was built in the 1990s some local people have blamed their illnesses on possible contaminated land.
Collins Solicitors, which represents 43 families in and around the estate, including Mr and Mrs McManus, has been in dispute with North Lanarkshire Council over the issue.
In October 2010, the council told residents said it had found traces of trichloroethylene (TCE) - a potentially harmful chemical - in open ground close to homes in Forum Place, Romulus Court, Empire Way and Tiber Avenue.
The properties are unfit for human habitation - the neuro-toxic vapours are making the residents ill”
Collins Solicitors later said tests it commissioned found the presence of potentially harmful chemicals which "far exceed stipulated safe levels".
It said analysis of air samples, taken from 20 properties in and around Forum Place revealed a significant number of chlorinated compounds and petroleum products (in particular Toluene) in the properties' indoor air.
Last May, the council published the results of a second batch of tests which found there was "no evidence to date to suggest significant health risks" on the estate.
The study recommended further investigations be conducted as a "precaution".
Collins Solicitors also commissioned a second batch of tests which it said showed there were health risks to clients on the estate.
In August last year, the council published the results of a third batch of tests which it said showed the ground was safe and there was "no evidence" that "significant harm" could come from the land on which the estate was built.
Collins Solicitors is now handling legal action on behalf of Mr and Mrs McManus, which it said would be a "test case" to establish whether there harmful substances are present at the site and are causing health problems.
Des Collins, from Collins Solicitors, said: "All along we have warned that if the residents were not able to secure voluntary remediation of the site, legal action would follow.
"The properties are unfit for human habitation - the neuro-toxic vapours are making the residents ill.
"Lanarkshire Housing Association, as landlord to a number of residents on the estate, is responsible for the provision of accommodation which meets basic standards."
Mr Collins said there was "a possibility" that other organisations could also face legal action over the issue, including North Lanarkshire Council, City Link Development Company and Clyde Valley Housing Association.
Lanarkshire Housing Association was contacted by the BBC and asked for a comment. It has, as yet, not replied.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Motherwell couple start legal action over 'toxic homes'. [Online] (Updated 16 Jul 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news.php/1440718-Motherwell-couple-start-legal-action-over-toxic-homes [Accessed 23rd May 2013]
At 15:49:48 in EnglandTwo men have been jailed for life for the murder of the stepson of gangland celebrity and author Dave Courtney....
At 15:49:44 in WorldA Russian drifting Arctic research station is to be evacuated because the ice field around it is melting, the environment ministry in Moscow...
At 15:45:17 in EnglandA pirate ship made from driftwood gathered from a Merseyside beach has been badly damaged in a suspected arson attack....
At 15:43:07 in EntertainmentRobert Redford has received a standing ovation for his performance in All Is Lost at the film's Cannes premiere. ...
At 15:42:09 in EnglandA school criticised for its handling of a pupil's claim that she was raped by students could face closure after a report found children...
At 15:35:38 in WalesA man accused of murdering five-year-old April Jones in a sexually motivated attack has denied being a paedophile....
At 15:31:26 in EnglandA family doctor who used a secret camera inside his wristwatch to record himself abusing female patients at his surgery has been jailed for ...
At 15:27:04 in EnglandResidents in the garrison town of Aldershot have spoken of their fears after the killing of a serving soldier in Woolwich....
At 15:08:07 in EnglandThe body of a man has been recovered by police divers from Bristol's harbourside....
At 15:07:06 in ScotlandThe broken-down ferry which was taken off the Orkney to Scrabster route has resumed service....
News In Other Categories
A former college football player has scored a court victory against Electronic Arts....
Robert Redford has received a standing ovation for his performance in All Is Lost at the film's Cannes premiere. ...
Two men have been jailed for life for the murder of the stepson of gangland celebrity and author Dave Courtney....
The Ecuadorean space agency (EXA) is trying to pick up signals from its satellite after it was found to be on a collision course with space ...
The number of people coming to the UK has fallen by over 80,000 in the last year according to official figures showing net migration down by...
A Russian drifting Arctic research station is to be evacuated because the ice field around it is melting, the environment ministry in Moscow...