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Housebuilder told to clean up ‘contaminated’ land used as a route by pupils

A Scottish housebuilder has been told to take action to clean an allegedly contaminated site used as a route by school pupils in Perth.

Two councillors in the city say the old nursery site on Low Road, Cherrybank was polluted with sewage and contaminated oil during the August 2020 floods.

Perth City South councillors Willie Wilson and Liz Barrett have accused the site’s owner of neglecting its responsibility to clean up the area.

Liberal Democrat councillor Willie Wilson told the Perthshire Advertiser the pair had raised the matter with the Fife-based housebuilder Muir Homes.

Cllr Wilson said: “With other areas in Low Road, the floods back in August 2020 caused severe inundation of water, sewage and contaminated oil in a wide area, including the old nursery site owned by Muir Homes.

“We have raised the matter with them several times in the strongest terms, asking that they take steps to clear up contamination, and remove debris and rubbish.

“So far, we have had no positive response from them at all. They have simply abdicated their responsibilities for the area.”

Cllr Barrett slammed the matter as “disgraceful”. She told the Perthshire Advertiser Muir Homes should not “drag their heels in cleaning up their land”.

She added: “Despite the fact that the area still may be contaminated, it’s used as a route for pupils going to Perth High School.

“Schools have been advised of the oil contamination but that does not absolve the landowners.

“Muir Homes needs to act now.”

But Paul McKay, managing director of Muir Homes, said the source of the flooding was not on its land, so the company was not responsible.

Mr McKay said: “It is important to note that Muir Homes builds homes safely and responsibly and we take maintenance of our development sites very seriously.

“The large stream that recently burst its banks is not on land owned by Muir Homes.

“Any debris from the recent flood was not generated by our land at Cherrybank but was a result of torrential rain and most likely from a source further up the stream.

“We have advised that investigations are to take place with upstream sources and environmental agencies responsible for water quality and levels.

“Safety of our staff, customers and communities is paramount and we will continue to carry out assessments of the site in our ownership and make recommendations to the appropriate agencies and indeed the local authority.”

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