Pollution tests to be carried out on former chemical sites


By Rory Reynolds

TESTS are to be carried out to determine whether three former industrial sites could pose a risk to their local populations.

The former sites of Portobello Power Station, the Northfield chemical works and the chemical plant at Abbeyhill in Edinburgh are to be examined under legislation that ensures the areas are safe for their current use.

Portobello Power Station was demolished in the late 1970s and the site is now home to eight five-a-side football pitches and a bowling centre.

While the former Abbeyhill chemical works lie on Calton Hill near to the Scottish government headquarters.

The work is to begin next month and involve specialist contractors taking soil, gas and water samples of the area.

Local residents are to be informed of the site investigations, which will take several days.


However it will be some months before they will be able to determine if there is any residual pollution.

Cllr Robert Aldridge, Environment Leader at the City of Edinburgh Council, said:

“There’s no reason to think there are specific concerns with these sites, but as with any area that has an industrial heritage, Edinburgh needs to consider the possibility of an unwanted legacy.

“The legislation is there to make sure we actively look for possible problems, so I have to stress that this is very much precautionary work.

“The health and well-being of residents is paramount and we will keep all of those in the affected areas informed as the investigations proceed.”


  1. I think you’ll find that the Power Station site is now a housing estate.
    The football pitches and Bowling Centre are on the land that was the old open air swimming pool.

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