Councillors consider report into Midlothian carbon dioxide incident

A final report on the findings of an Incident Management Team set up by NHS Lothian after elevated carbon dioxide levels (CO2) were found in homes in Gorebridge has been considered by Midlothian Council.

The team was established to investigate ill health cases affecting residents of a recently built development on Newbyres Crescent and Gore Avenue in Gorebridge in 2014.

In the range of recommendations, three requiring action by the council are either underway or complete. The first was to limit public access to the site until the homes were demolished, which finished in early 2016.

The second recommendation is that efforts should be made to ensure there are no ongoing public health threats caused by gas leaks from old mine workings before any redevelopment is underway.

Finally, the third recommendation is to pursue a long term strategy to monitor any houses built on the site to ensure the same issues don’t happen again.

Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for housing, Councillor Stephen Curran, said: “Our concern has always been for the welfare of residents and this report confirms we are doing all we can to prevent a recurrence of what was an extremely challenging and distressing time for local people.

“Our aim now is to rebuild new homes on the site with gas emissions safeguards incorporated into the design.”

Residents had to be rehoused after elevated levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) from old mine workings were found in some of the properties in 2014.

Costs of the demolition and rebuilding work are estimated to be around £12 million.

Rebuilding the homes will help meet the social housing need in the local area, in the council’s Social Housing Programme.

Prior to redevelopment of the site ground gas monitoring and risk assessment will take place for appropriately designed, installed and verified gas defence systems to be included on the site and within the building structures to avoid any risk of CO2 exposure.

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