A number of former industrial sites in Dundee are being monitored for potential contamination, a city councillor confirmed following concerns from a former gas worker.
The Tayside man, who claimed to have worked on various local sites for 50 years, voiced fears about safety after six dogs died from suspected toxic fumes near a similar ex-industrial plant in Edinburgh.
While no such incidents have been reported in Dundee, councillor Alan Ross moved to reassure residents that all land is monitored before being put to use.
Many of the Dundee sites including former quarries, textile factories and gas works have been converted into playing fields, residential areas or are still vacant.
The retired gas worker, who did not wish to be named, said: “I have worked around Tayside for 50 years and know of many people who have been diagnosed with illnesses after a long time on the gas works.
“At the time I didn’t think much of it but after reading about the dogs in Edinburgh it made me wonder — if this is what contamination is doing to dogs, then what about people?
“Dock Street and Perrie Street in Dundee spring to mind. I have been reassured that Dock street was cleaned up, but I’m not so sure as there are still holders under the ground.”
As part of their contaminated land strategy, Dundee City Council has ongoing investigations at Gallowhill, Craigie and Baxter Quarries, Dura Works, Dens Burn by Wallace and Dens Works, Claverhouse Works near Mill O’Mains Park, Hillbank Linen Works and Rockwell Works.
The local authority is also monitoring groundwater at Kilspindie Road and Midmill gas holder at Drumgeith Road, as well as installing gas monitoring wells at Charleston Quarry and assessing below-ground conditions at Marchbanks.
Councillor Ross, Convener of Community Safety and Public Protection, said: “Dundee has a rich industrial history and all new developments are controlled through the planning development process to ensure they are suitable for their proposed use.
“As industrial land becomes used for a more sensitive use, such as housing, the council requires the developer to assess the land, and if necessary, remediate it.
“The council and the current land owners are aware of the former gas works sites on Dock Street and Perrie Street, and the potential for there to be residual contamination.
“The former has been partially remediated by the land-owner, and is not open to the public, while the latter is industrial. As such, these are not current priorities for investigation by the council.
“The contaminated land team welcome any information the public may hold on former industrial sites, as additional information may inform the risk assessment.
“In particular, if the public have specific concerns about any site, they should let us know.”