Homes work may start on former Macaulay Tip within a year
WORK to build 250 homes and a country park on and around the former Macaulay Tip could start within 12 months, according to developers.
They conducted a consultation with residents at Grimsby Auditorium yesterday at the start of their bid to renew the outline planning permission for the site.
There are two separate applications, as reported, one which covers an area around the former tip and another which deals with the tip which closed in 1976.
Plans for the first development are due to be submitted to North East Lincolnshire Council on September 25.
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Director of Istithmar P&O Estates Ltd, Graham Corser, said work could begin within 12 months if planning approval is granted and the site sold to a home builder.
The application is a renewal of plans already approved in 2002, 2007 and 2010, but permission will run out in January.
Istithimar P&O Estates Ltd plans to sell the land on the open market to a residential developer.
It is the latest step in the history of the former tip site and surrounding area.
In 1997, it was earmarked as a possible location for a giant £30-million leisure complex, called Millennium Park, with a nine-screen cinema, restaurant, office space, nightclub and hotel.
But the development was dogged by delays and legal wrangles.
The site was monitored and found to have traces of harmful chemicals including ammonia and cyanide.
Objectors to the development said there was a risk of contamination and voiced concerns about the underground aquifer.
The six-hectare site consists of a former school field and allotments, vacated when plot holders lost a court battle against eviction in 2001.
At the consultation, Mr Corser said responses from members of the public had been varied.
He said: "People are interested to know what is going on. Some know the history. This will be a renewal of the consent that is already in place.
"We have had ward councillors visit and they are supportive."
He added: "The focus goes mainly into what happens with the tip site. That is going to be part of a separate application later this year."
Mr Corser said: "People have speculated what is in the ground. This is one of the most monitored sites in the region."
Detailed plans will go on North East Lincolnshire Council's planing website at the end of the month .
Objector Richard Smith, 66, a retired industrial chemist, said his objection had spanned 14 years.
He said: "I am merely attempting to protect the wider public interest and have always questioned the wisdom of developing what is effectively seriously contaminated land containing an array of toxic materials such as asbestos, hydrocarbons, solvents and hospital waste."
He said the tip should be left undisturbed and capped and fenced off.
West marsh resident Keith Watkin said: "I have been involved from day one of this proposal. It is a bigger and more complex development than people think.
"This development is separate to the tip. My main concern is traffic and developing on the tip."