Contaminated land

Peel Lane contaminated land - completed investigation

​​This site in Heywood, centred on grid reference x 384779 y 411174, comprises a Public Open Space (POS) surrounded by allotments and residential properties. We identified this site as high priority for inspection because of its history and sensitive use. In 2009 we got funding from DEFRA to investigate the site.


In the early 1900s, the site comprised of an incinerator for the destruction of refuse and brick works in the south. Later, the area of the brick field was used as a landfill.

Residential housing and allotments developed around the site. Later the landfill was used for domestic waste. The incinerator was demolished in the mid 1970s with a civic amenity tip replacing it. The landfill also closed in the mid 1970s and the site was landscaped to its present state.


The investigation in May and June 2009 involved installing boreholes within the main landfill and surrounding area to assess:

  • What the waste material was
  • Whether gas was being produced
  • How far gas was migrating

We took samples from the ground to assess the contamination and whether it could pose a risk to the site users and the environment. We also assessed the quality of the soil in the allotments to the east of the site.

Several gardens of properties on Cherwell Avenue were sampled to assess the ground quality because the extent of the landfill to the south is unclear from the historical plans.


It is concluded that there are no risks to health from gas migration at the site.

Bay Street Allotments investigation and outcome

A refuse incinerator was situated in the north of the site from the 1900s to the mid-1970s when it was closed and demolished. A public open space (POS) and allotments now occupy this area.

The ground investigation was completed over Christmas 2009 and the final report was received in March 2010. This identified contamination on the site which may represent a risk to the allotment holders and their families and the site was determined as statutory contaminated land on the 22nd November 2010. An advisory note has been developed in conjunction with ourselves, the FSA, the Primary Care Trust and the Health Protection Agency. 

An application to the Environment Agency for funds to undertake the remedial works was successful and the works were completed in December 2011.

Advice and notice for Bay Street Allotments

Pleasant View Allotments investigation and outcome

The Pleasant View Allotments are close to where the original landfill was and about 100 metres from where the incinerator was located. The results identified elevated contaminants such as benz (a) pyrene and lead. Analysis of the eggs has also identified the presence of dioxins and lead. 

An advisory note has been developed in consultation with the FSA and HPA. It offers advice on how the allotment users can continue using their plots safely. Further sampling has been undertaken and the final conclusion is the Pleasant View Allotments meet the definition of contaminated land and the site was determined as contaminated land in June 2012.  An application was made to the Environment Agency for funds, this has been successful and the remedial works have now being undertaken.

The allotment plot holders have been informed.

Advice issued to Pleasant View Allotment holders - June 2011