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Council to pay compensation for contaminated land

Waste dumped at a former tip that contaminated nearby land has led to Northamptonshire County Council agreeing to pay out £6m in compensation to Rockingham Castle Estate, Corby.

The payout relates to a piece of land owned by Rockingham which is next to a former landfill site run by the council. Rockingham was given planning permission for a business park on the land. But the permission had conditions attached which required an investigation on the land to be carried out, revealing the alleged contamination of the land.

The council took over the running of the landfill site in 1974 and waste continued to be deposited there until 1993. What was dumped there included waste which, under today’s regulations, would be viewed as hazardous.

Rockingham Castle Estate threatened legal proceedings against the council because of the alleged contamination, and sought compensation for works necessary to deal with the problem before building could start. Negotiations between the two parties go back as far as 1993, and the county council is thought to have sought advice from the Queen’s Counsel and from technical consultants on the matter.

A council spokesman said: “It was agreed that this financial settlement was the best course of action for the authority and the taxpayer.”

It is believed the decision to settle was taken to prevent the council incurring further legal costs. As a result of the settlement, Rockingham will now release the council from all current claims made against it in respect of the contamination.

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