City of Wolverhampton Council has thanked residents of a housing estate built on a contaminated former factory site for their "outstanding patience and cooperation" during a clean up which lasted more than a decade.

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The remediation of the private Farndale Estate, in Whitmore Reans, has now been completed.

Since 2005, the estate was the centre of a highly complex and lengthy programme, led by City of Wolverhampton Council, to investigate and eventually remove asbestos, carbon disulphide and other contaminants.

Leader of City of Wolverhampton Council, Councillor Roger Lawrence, who is also a ward councillor for the area, said: "I want to thank the residents of the Farndale Estate for their outstanding patience and cooperation over the many years it has taken to investigate and make the estate safe.

"They have had to endure years of worry and uncertainty, not to mention inconvenience from the remediation work, but I am delighted that this is now all over for them and their homes and gardens are safe. Life can finally get back to normal for everyone.

"I also want to place on record my thanks to our environmental health officers who have overseen this mammoth task to keep residents safe and informed and to the specialist contractors who have worked with us to get the job done and to keep the unavoidable disruption to a minimum."

The Farndale Estate was built in the 1970s on the site of the former Courtaulds factory which produced a polyester type fabric called Rayon.

City of Wolverhampton Council launched an investigation into potential contamination on the estate in 2005 after receiving information that parts of the site contained carbon disulphide - a highly toxic chemical used in the production of Rayon.

The investigation involved the testing of approximately 300 properties as well as roadways and verges.  The results revealed a small number of properties with high levels of the chemical. These were remediated by a third party and it was necessary to demolish four houses.

Those same tests also revealed the presence of other contaminants - asbestos, mercury and lead - in gardens which were then investigated in more detail by the city council and led to 81 properties being formally declared as contaminated land.

The subsequent remediation of these materials led to front and rear gardens from the affected properties being completely dug up, including all paving, plants and trees, with 10,120 tonnes of soil removed and the same quantity replaced.

All gardens have now been reinstated and all remediation work is complete.

  • released: Friday 23 March, 2018