NEW safety measures are being introduced to a popular recreation ground in Mudeford, which could throw future events into doubt.
Any events organised for the Stanpit Recreation Ground in Mudeford from now on will have to be assessed for potential risks before they can take place.
It follows investigative ground works earlier this year which revealed fluctuating gas levels at the former landfill site.
The annual Christchurch Rotary Bonfire and Fireworks, due to take place on Saturday, November 5, has already been cancelled as a result of the findings.
But, one councillor has cast doubt on the report, saying BCP Council are making it impossible for organisers to host any events there.
Councillor Lesley Dedman said: “As BCP have found, the gas levels vary all the time. So it’s going to be totally impossible to put any events on if they’re going to say ‘no’ at the last minute like they did with the fireworks- by that time it’s too late to find another venue.
“They’re making it impossible for anyone to put any events on.”
Cllr Dedman added that she was challenging the council’s findings alongside a local resident. She said: “We feel there’s something terribly wrong with the report.”
Speaking last month, BCP Council said the cancellation of the fireworks was a “precautionary measure”, suggesting enclosed tents, marquees, and wood pilings could prevent gas coming up from the ground from safely dissipating into the air, with bonfires and fireworks only adding to the risk.
Read more: Why fireworks at Stanpit recreation ground are cancelled
Now, the local authority has confirmed that future events of any kind will be “assessed for any potential risks on a case-by-case basis.”
They added that the gas levels were normal for a former landfill site, and that they do not pose any risk for everyday use of the ground.
A BCP Council spokesperson said: “Stanpit Recreation Ground sits on top of an historic landfill that has been reclaimed for public use. Some gas monitoring of the site has determined fluctuating gas levels which do not pose a risk during normal recreational use.
“Landfill gas is a natural by-product of the decomposition of organic materials in landfill, so it is normal for historical landfill sites to produce gas at fluctuating levels.
“The site has been reclaimed for public use and as a recreational area it does not pose any risk. Any events held on the site will be assessed for any potential risks on a case-by-case basis.”
BCP Council also confirmed that there were no further plans for “further investigatory or remedial works to the site”.
They are working with Christchurch Rotary Club to find an alternative site to hold the annual Christchurch Rotary Bonfire and Fireworks event in the future.