Weekly explosions at new Burntwood housing estate site as munitions found
Explosives are having to be detonated on a weekly basis at the site of an old munitions dump being cleared for 150 homes.
The land in Milestone Way, Burntwood, is littered with devices as it was once home to to ES Smith, a firm that stored war munitions in the 1940s and 1950s.
Specialists are carrying out one or two controlled explosions every week with residents alerted by an air horn sounding, says Lichfield District Council.
The work is due to finish in August.
Councillor Angela Lax, cabinet member for legal and regulatory services, said: “Our environmental health team is working with Brimstone Site Investigation who have been carrying out a series of controlled explosions at the housing development at Milestone Way in Burntwood on behalf of the developers of the site, Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Development.
“Brimstone has also been working closely with the Health and Safety Executive and the local firearms division of Staffordshire Police, to make sure that the controlled explosions are carried out following all safety guidelines.
“There is now only one more day of controlled explosions due to take place.
"The explosions themselves have been calculated and are at a safe distance from surrounding properties to protect against blast and vibration, and there are also limits on the quantity of explosives used to further prevent any structural damage.
“We have also been assured that the noise is within specified limits.
“However, we understand that the explosions will be causing a disruption to nearby residents who will be very relieved that the work is coming to an end and the remaining legacy of explosive devices is almost cleared.”
Work on the housing estate was halted in March 2016 after two unexploded explosives were discovered in less than three weeks.
Developers Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Homes are behind the plans to build the homes, which will consist of 40 four-bedroom homes, 64 three-beds, 33 two-beds, one one-bed house and nine two-bedroom apartments.
A spokesman for Barratt Homes and Taylor Wimpey, said: “The safe removal of unexploded ordnance is part of the planned preparatory works for our development off Milestone Way in Burntwood.
"As part of the ongoing remediation of the site, our specialist contractor is carrying out a series of controlled explosions, which we expect will be completed in August 2019.
"Our first priority is the safety of the general public, our customers, employees and subcontractors and appropriate safety measures were put in place before works started.”