MAJOR work to clear up a former chemical works site in Hartlepool is well under way.
Sirius North East has been contracted to clear the Steetley site, in Hartlepool, by the land’s owners Starford Holdings.
A 20-strong team from the Durham-based firm are 10 weeks into a 42-week programme and bosses are pleased with how work is going at the site in Old Cemetery Road.
The controversial site is being cleared five years after the Hartlepool Mail launched a campaign to get the area made safe.
The site, which has been split into four sections, A, B, C, D, has been plagued by arsonists and trespassers in recent years.
Sections C and D, which are nearest the Northgate junction, were completed within the first few weeks and saw rubbish and debris removed from the site.
Now the firm is focusing its attentions on clearing and processing sections A and B and structures close to Hartlepool Golf Club have been demolished and are being processed.
Phill Collings, remedial director for Sirius North East, said: “Work is on course and is progressing well.
“We are now 10 weeks into a 42-week programme of work.
“We have done the initial phase of site clearance and that is completed.
“We are now onto the second phase of processing the materials and are just about to do some re-engineering of the soils to make sure that it is compacted so that a property can be built on it.”
He added that pre-trials have gone well.
Mr Collings added: “The work is going well and we are pleased to be on site as it has taken a while to get to this stage.”
As part of the scheme, the landmark chimney at the centre of the site – which is visible from miles around and forms part of the town’s skyline – will be flattened.
Town leaders have previously welcomed the major clean-up operation which will see the remains of existing hazardous structures demolished, debris cleared and the land levelled off ready for its future use.
The owners have planning permission for a £100m housing development of 484 seaview homes.
The Mail launched the Sort Out Steetley campaign in 2007 in a bid to have the desolate site made secure after children began using it as an “adventure playground”.
Residents were urged to sign petitions as part of our campaign, which set out clear goals to make the site more secure, clear the debris, speed up the administration process, publicise the plans for the site, and redevelop the area.