Council say wonderland site is safe

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

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COUNCIL chiefs have sought to allay local fears about the suitability of a former Wigan factory site for a visiting fairground.

Winter Wonderland is currently camped out on the former Regents Trucks land off Frog Lane which two years ago was at the centre of toxic chemical scare.

Several residents have contacted the paper to voice concerns about the wasteland being used for leisure activities.

This after the alarm was raised in August 2008 when several children playing in a derelict building on the site came across a pool of mercury.

A number of youngsters underwent medical checks, risk assessments and had samples sent off for further testing.

An appeal was also made by health chiefs for anyone else coming into contact with the potentially deadly liquid metal to come forward for testing.

In the end everyone who came forward was given a clean bill of health and specialists moved in to clear up the spillage and seal the building.

But worries still remain. One resident, who did not wish to be identified, said today: “They may well have cleared up that particular mess, but did they really decontaminate the whole site?

“One of the reasons why they won’t build the Wigan Youth Zone there is because there would be the extra cost of decontaminating that land.

“I certainly wouldn’t be sending my children there.”

Another said: “It hardly seems a suitable site for a fairground to be, especially in view of what happened two years ago.”

But a Wigan Council spokesman said: “If they want to have a fair there, they can have a fair there.

“Such land can be used for up to 28 days for a purpose such as a fair (but not domestic use such as by travellers).

“That can include potentially contaminated vacant land.

“The Council is aware of past issues on the site with mercury found at a sub-station, but with specialist contractors the land was cleared in 2009 and we are not aware of any new issues since.”