Planned Lordswood asbestos depot 'too close' to houses

  • 17 May 2013
  • From the section Kent

Residents opposed to plans to turn part of a waste site in Medway into a depot which would handle asbestos waste have voiced their anger at a public meeting.

Asbestos First wants to turn part of its land in Lordswood into a waste transfer station with asbestos being temporarily stored in locked skips.

The asbestos removal company said the skips would be sealed and kept under 24-hour surveillance.

Opponents claim "a hazardous operation" should not be in a residential area.

'Fibrous asbestos'

The proposed site off North Dane Way is close to a housing estate and is adjacent to the Lordswood sports and leisure centre.

Local resident Ian McKeand, whose father died of mesothelioma - the cancer associated with asbestos, was at the public meeting at the Bridgewood Manor Hotel, in Chatham, on Thursday night.

"We don't know what state the asbestos is going to be in," he said.

"If the bags are ripped before they get there, there could be fibrous asbestos coming from these vehicles before it's actually bagged correctly and taken off site."

Safety record

Deputy leader of Medway Council, Alan Jarratt, whose ward includes the site, added: "If it becomes a transfer station it will become a focal point for every cowboy builder in the area potentially, and that's one of the big worries."

Asbestos First said it had been handling asbestos safely for 25 years.

It withdrew an earlier planning application to allow for a public consultation, but said it now planned to resubmit it to the council.

Managing director Debbie Hales said: "We are planning on adding a waste transfer station to our current site in Lordswood so that we can simply transfer waste from our vans, and the waste containers within them, into sealed lockable skips.

"I don't want the vans having to travel up and down to the landfill site on a daily basis. Environmentally it's not the most sensible thing to do."

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