New work planned at former Jarrow chemical works site

A giant U-shaped stockpile at a demolished chemical works is to be broken into pieces after council chiefs gave flood and contamination safety guarantees to householders

Rohm and Haas site, Jarrow
Rohm and Haas site, Jarrow

The 70m-long dump - which rises to a height of seven metres at Jarrow’s former Rohm and Haas site - will be split into six piles.

Around half the existing mound, which covers 28,000 cubic metres and is known as a berm, will be retained, with five other sections – supported on concrete – created.

The chemical plant closed in 2015 after 55 years in operation and has been flattened, and site remedial work is now ongoing.

South Tyneside Council planners have approved the project, despite the concerns of a resident living in Ellison Street, opposite the site.

In a letter to the council, they raised fears the mound could be chemically contaminated and pose a threat to health.

But the authority’s environmental experts say they have examined the land and insist the soil is safe.

They also say its removal poses no threat of future flooding, and that noise and dust from the scheme will not affect residents.

A council report states: “The proposal would involve removing the large stockpile of soil and splitting it into five smaller piles across the site. The smaller piles would be further from residential properties and public view than the current large pile.

“Consequently, it is not considered that the proposal would have a significant adverse impact upon the visual amenity of the area.

“It is felt that the proposed works will not significantly alter the current site drainage characteristics. The level of flood risk on the site or downstream of the proposed development should be minimal during this programme.”

The council’s environmental health officer also raised no objection in regard of contaminated land.

This was due to all works being on site and not requiring off site vehicle movements.

The site is bounded to the north by the River Tyne, to the west and south-west and east by employment land and industrial areas.

To the south lies Ellison Place, Chaytor Street and other residential properties, with Jarrow town centre 400m beyond.