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Swalwell Depot site, Whickham Bank

Gateshead Council Swalwell Depot site, (now in private ownership),  and the adjacent White House site area has been identified as contaminated land for the purposes of section 78A(2) of the Act because:

The Council has identified a source (contaminant), a pathway and a receptor with respect to the current use of the land and is satisfied that this pollutant linkage presents a significant possibility of significant harm being caused to that receptor.

Contaminated land location plan: Swalwell Depot (PDF) [1MB] (opens new window)

Pollutant linkage


Hydrocarbon contamination from leaking former underground fuel storage tanks on the Council Depot site contaminated this area and migrated to the adjacent White House.


Ground water, Ingestion of soil, dermal contact, inhalation of internal and external vapours.


Human beings, Property, ground water and surface water.

Evidence on which the determination was based

Site investigation work undertaken by Gateshead Council from 1999 to 2005 established that the White House property and the Council Depot site were affected by hydrocarbon pollution that originated at the Council Depot site, mainly from leaking underground fuel storage tanks. Soil quality had been impacted beneath both sites primarily at shallow depth coincident with the groundwater table.

Remediation, Validation and update to Determination

The area affected by the contamination at the Depot site was remediated in 2007/08. The contamination source including the underground fuel storage tanks and contaminated soils were removed, and groundwater treated.

Further site investigations undertaken at the White House site in 2011/12 established that there was no longer significant hydrocarbon contamination present at the White House site.

The Atkins report concluded that the White House site no longer met the definition of 'contaminated land', and as such it has been removed from this register. The area of the Depot site, outlined in blue on the location plan, has been retained on the register because remediation was limited to a 'Commercial end use' standard.