Tests bring new hope for the gardeners at poisoned plots

“ENCOURAGING” results have come back after the latest round of testing at the poisoned Milner Royd allotments in Sowerby Bridge.

Gardeners were ordered to stop eating their produce in May after high levels of lead, nickel and hydro- carbons were found in food samples.

A second set of tests were then ordered by Calderdale Council.

Those results have now come back and have shown of the 12 samples taken, only one had elevated lead levels.

But the Health Protection Agency has said gardeners should still not eat their crops.

At a meeting of the environment and economy scrutiny panel last week, councillors asked for comprehensive testing to take place across the site.

Consultants are now set to carry out intensive testing through trial pits on individual plots and boreholes.

A report will then be produced in late July.

Once the results of water samples, food testing and soil samples have been analysed, the council says it will meet plotholders to discuss the findings.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet member for the economy and environment, Coun Barry Collins, said while the latest results were more encouraging, further tests were needed.

“The council must act carefully now but we are determined to find a way forward as soon as possible.”

Part of the allotments lie on a piece of land given the go-ahead for the £62.5m Copley development by planning officers.