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Commitment to pay 60% cost of housing estate pollution cleaning

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The Welsh Government has confirmed that they want financial assistance to the Isle of Anglesey County Council to complete the remediation of contaminated land on a housing estate in Amlwch.

Testing was carried out last October on a 100-storey garden terrain on the Craig y Don estate to see if they had been polluted by copper melting in the area 200 years ago.

According to a Government spokesman, high levels of arsenic and lead “that could endanger human health” were discovered earlier this year under 16 of the estate homes.

As the spokesman confirmed the Government’s commitment to fund 60% of the cost, with the Isle of Anglesey County Council paying for the rest, there was no suggestion how much the work would cost.

The houses in the early 50’s were erected at the site of the former Hill’s chemical factory – a site that was also used between 1786 and 1897 for copper smelting. The estate includes private houses and council houses.

Earlier in the month, town councilors in Amlwch expressed concern that Anglesey Council had not tackled the situation, almost a year after residents were told that there was potential pollution.

The Government said on Tuesday that their funding “will ensure that residents will not have to pay for the work themselves, and that the local authority will not have to use its current budgets to cover all the cost.”

The money will ensure a “safe and clean area for residents, the community and future generations,” says Environment Minister Hannah Blythyn.

“In cases where the original pollutant does not exist, the owner or occupier of the property is usually responsible for the remuneration costs of contaminated land,” he said.

“However, given the many distinctive factors in Craig-y-Don, we felt it was appropriate for the Government to provide financial assistance for the remediation.

The announcement was welcomed by the Leader of the Isle of Anglesey County Council who said that the money will “ensure that this important work goes on.”

Councilor Llinos Medi said: “This has been a challenging time for the residents of Craig y Don, but they have been a priority to us every step of the way.

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