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KELL GATE GREEN: Village green to remain closed to the public

KELL GATE GREEN: Village green to remain closed to the public

Image: LDRS

Hopes that a village green could soon reopen have been dashed over continued pollution fears.

Kell Gate Green, between the Middlesbrough villages of Stainton and Thornton, has been closed off to the public since last November as a result of untreated effluent and other pollutants found in a beck flowing through it, which were deemed to pose a significant risk to public health.

Stainton and Thornton Parish Council, which leases the land from the Pennyman estate, commissioned fresh water sampling tests with its own funds with councillors hoping they would provide enough reassurance to give the all-clear.

But chairman Alan Liddle said latest test results showed unacceptable levels of contamination still in the beck.

In an e-mail update to villagers, he said after a recent meeting between the parish council and Middlesbrough Council officers it was decided on the recommendation of the higher authority that the area should remain closed.

He said a potential solution involving the borough council and the Environment Agency was being worked upon that may allow pedestrian access through Kell Gate Green – the gates to which continue to be padlocked.

Councillor Liddle wrote: “I realise this is an incredibly frustrating situation and the parish council would like to reopen Kell Gate Green as soon as possible, but only if it is safe to do so.

“Please respect the closed signs as you may be putting your pet’s health at risk if they do drink the water in the Kell Gate Green section of the beck itself.”

The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) reported last year how a four-year-old dog whose owners said was fit and healthy died after playing in the beck in May.

The dog subsequently fell ill and had to be put down after its kidneys failed with vets believing the animal had consumed something toxic.

However a link with the water in the beck has not been fully substantiated.

A likely source of the pollution has been previously traced to nearby properties which are not connected to the mains drainage system and instead use their own package treatment plants to filter water before it is discharged into the beck.

But despite efforts to tackle the issue, no solution to the potentially harmful pollution levels in the beck has been found to date.

Words: Stuart Arnold, Local Democracy Reporter

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