Cancer gas concern over homes plan

CONCERN was voiced today that land which may be used for hundreds of new homes could be contaminated with cancer-causing radon gas.

Richard Cornwell

CONCERN was voiced today that land which may be used for hundreds of new homes could be contaminated with cancer-causing radon gas.

Land at Old Felixstowe is part of the only hot-spot for the gas in East Anglia and tests on hundreds of properties in the area have already found its presence, though only at dangerous levels in a few cases.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas which seeps into homes from rocks and soils and becomes trapped.


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Jim Stafford, of Ferry Road, said he was deeply concerned new homes could be built on the fields north of Felixstowe, an area which is know to have radon problems.

Mr Stafford said: “Radon can be a major health risk and a cause of lung cancer and I just don't think we should be building homes in a hazard area.

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“The district council knows about it and yet has not advised its consultants and has then chosen sites for homes where radon exists. The Health Protection Agency and Defra also know about this area.

“I am not trying to scaremonger but health and safety is all about reducing, eliminating and minimising the risk and so why put people into new homes in an affected area in the first place.

“They have the whole of the district to put these houses and they pick the one area affected by radon gas. It's ridiculous.”

A 225 square kilometre area of Suffolk Coastal, including Old Felixstowe, Woodbridge, Martlesham Heath and Newbourne, is identified as a radon risk area, though radiation monitoring programmes have found levels nowhere near as high as in the south west of the country.

Owners of homes monitored have been given advice on radon reduction measures.

Environmental health officers at Suffolk Coastal say new houses being built in the Felixstowe, Trimley and Kirton areas include basic protection to prevent radon entering into the property and this is now a part of building regulations requirements.

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