LACK OF research funding into hazardous waste in the Thames Gateway is crippling plans for 120,000 homes to be built in the area, the Environment Agency warned this week.
Large scale redevelopment is being held back because of uncertainty over the amount of hazardous waste that may be present in the former industrial corridor.
Uncertainty exists because the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) has not provided the funds for much needed research.
Consultant Halcrow has estimated that 4Mt of hazardous waste could litter the 80,000ha region. Its conclusions are set out in an interim report, Wastes management in the Thames Gateway, commissioned by the Environment Agency but funded by the ODPM.
This is a crude estimate based on previous developments around the south east, and the Agency and remediation companies fear the real quantity will be much higher.
Until funding is found to conduct detailed research into the true quantities, redevelopment is being done piecemeal.
The ODPM was unable to comment as NCE went to press.