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STEEL SITE REMEDIATION LEGAL BATTLE

Families win right to pursue claim for toxic waste harm

A judge has ruled in favour of claimants alleging that work to reclaim the former Corby Steel works land had caused deformities to children born to mothers exposed to materials between 1985 and 1999.

The works closed in 1980 and the buildings were gradually demolished and waste removed to a quarry.

Justice Akenhead said: “There was an extended period between 1983 and August 1997 in which Corby Borough Council was extensively negligent in its control and management of the sites which they acquired from British Steel and otherwise used.

Corby Borough Council is liable in public nuisance, negligence and breach of statutory duty, obviously subject to it being established in later proceedings by individual claimants that their particular conditions were actually caused by the defaults identified in this judgment.”

Corby Borough Council CEO Chris Mallender said: “Our position has always been that there was no link between the reclamation work that was carried out in Corby in past decades and these children’s birth defects. That is still our position.”

Solicitors for the Council said: “For both local authorities and developers alike this is a significant concern because the standard of care has been drawn very highly, and could cause a rethink of the way that reclamation is carried out in the UK..”

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