Developers have played down fears that work being done on the former Coalite site in Shuttlewood might be damaging to people’s health.
Residents had complained in January about the strong chemical smell coming from the site since diggers arrived in November.
But some in the community - including one new dad from Bolsover - believe the bad smells are the least of their worries.
James Keady, of Cundy Road, said: “My concern is for my family’s health and the environment.”
“I think if you can smell it you are potentially breathing it in and I have smelled it as far away as Crystal Peaks.
“They now want to build houses on it but why would you want your child to go to school near one of the most contaminated rivers on the planet?”
We have so far found nothing that would be deemed a risk to the public or our workers.Bolsover Land Limited
James’ fears centre on the amount of dioxins at the site - a by-product of coke production which can stay around for many years.
“I want to know what the levels were like before they started the work,” he says.
He has now taken his complaints to Bolsover District Council and local MP Dennis Skinner but says he has ‘not got anywhere as yet’.
“It took Dennis Skinner about two months to get back to me and then he said it wasn’t his job,” said James.
However, when contacted by the DT, the veteran Labour MP said he had recently visited the site and reported his constituents’ concerns to the leader of Bolsover District Council, Dan Swaine.
A spokesperson for the developers, Bolsover Land Limited said: “Odour levels are being continually monitored and shared with the relevant agencies to ensure odours are not harmful or pose any risk to the public and our workers on-site.
“We have so far found nothing that would be deemed a risk to the public or our workers.
“Whilst there was an increase in odour levels during the first weeks of the site clean-up, the odour levels have reduced significantly as we have progressed further with the clean-up.
“If members of the public require any further information or are concerned about anything, please call our 24 hour hotline on 07774 941087 or contact the Environment Agency on 0800 807060.”