A press release from Highland Council:
The Highland Council is carrying out further ground investigations at the former Kingsteps Quarry in Nairn, which will be undertaken by specialist contractors commencing at the beginning of December.
During the two week survey period public access will be maintained at all times, although localised restrictions may be necessary for short periods. The work comprises excavation, by hand and mini-digger, of trial pits across the site and is being carried out to ensure the site can be used safely by the public as an amenity area in the long term.
Findings of the ground investigations are expected to be reported around the beginning of March 2016.
Results from a radiological survey carried out earlier in the year showed that although some naturally occurring radiation was identified, there was no indication of radium recorded. The survey was a precautionary measure due to anecdotal evidence of possible buried World War 2 military aircraft at the site. If present, aircraft parts disposed of may have contained very small amounts of radioactive contamination in the form of luminised paint which was used on dials on wartime planes.
The 4.2 hectare site at Kingsteps Quarry is owned by the Council and was acquired in 2001 (at no cost) from the neighbouring Lochloy Housing developer. The site was formerly a sand and gravel quarry and then used as an unregulated local dump. There are informal paths on the site used by locals for dog walking and countryside amenity.
Staff in the Council’s Development and Infrastructure Service and the Council’s Contaminated Land Unit have been liaising with SEPA, and local Ward Members.
Speaking on behalf of the Nairn Ward, Councillor Michael Green, Member of the Council’s Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee said: “I am comfortable that the due processes are being followed and I look forward to the findings of the survey being reported in due course in March next year.”
Once all survey results have been analysed - and if required - appropriate actions will be taken to remediate the area for continued public access. If required, the Council will apply to the Scottish Government for Vacant and Derelict Land Funding to improve the site.