THE Maltings has been released back to Wiltshire Council by Defra following a month of decontamination.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) today handed back the Maltings to the Salisbury Recovery Coordinating Group.

A Defra spokesperson said: “Following extensive clean-up operations in Salisbury to remove any potential residual contamination resulting from the nerve agent attack on 4 March, decontamination work is now complete at The Maltings.

“The site has now been handed back to Wiltshire Council, who will decide when it is appropriate to release it back into public use.”

Decontamination started at the site on April 24, when the site was released by counter-terror police conducting an investigation into the nerve agent attack on Russian former-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

Chair of the recovery group Alastair Cunningham said the clean-up process would involve testing the sites for traces of the nerve agent Novichok, and caustic chemical cleaning, before re-testing to determine sites are safe.

Public Health England have declared that Salisbury is safe to the public outside of the cordoned-off sites.

Plans to re-open the Maltings are currenty being discussed.