Explosion fallout

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AN EXPLOSION which caused chaos in Eaglesham last week has been condemned by East Renfrewshire council.

Last Thursday, controlled explosions by Mactaggart & Mickel intended to break up rock on the site of a new housing development went awry, leading to dozens of homes and cars being damaged.

An ERC spokesman has confirmed the explosions — which resulted in emergency services being called to the scene near Bonnyton Drive — should not have happened in the first place.

He told The Extra: “We received no prior notification that controlled explosions would be used at this site. It was also not highlighted in the original planning application and therefore no conditions were attached such as the time of day and monitoring of vibration.

“As soon as we were alerted to this situation we immediately contacted the health and safety executive who we understand will begin their investigations at the site today.

“Our council staff who attended yesterday to provide assistance to residents remained at the site and affected streets last night to ensure that damaged homes were made secure”.

Following the explosion, the council’s Conservative group has demanded MacTaggart and Mickel cease all operation within the local authority until the council has received assurances from the health and safety executive.

Leader Gordon Wallace, believes the actions were “bordering on criminal.’’

“It is evident that only luck prevented serious injury or fatality and, as such, must call into question all health and safety and due diligence procedures undertaken by Mactaggart & Mickel”, said the councillor.

He added: “This whole thing smacks of utter contempt and blind stupidity.

“The fact this developer did not even have the courtesy to advise the planning department of this dangerous activity only serves to underline the long-held view by local people that where East Renfrewshire is concerned, developers can do as they please”.

Ed Monaghan, chief executive of Mactaggart & Mickel, said: “Our investigation continues as to the cause of the incident at our Eaglesham site. Again we are relieved that no-one was injured.

“It is not custom to notify a local authority when conducting such operations however, we recognise and accept in hindsight that it would have been in everyone’s best interests to have done so.

“A detailed record is being maintained of damage that has been incurred, and many of the properties have already been repaired”.