Lordswood asbestos transfer site plan turned down

Proposals for the storage and transfer of asbestos at a depot in Kent have been rejected by councillors following hundreds of objections from residents.

Asbestos First had wanted to adapt part of its existing site in Lordswood where asbestos is already stored in vans.

Managing director Debbie Hales said the rejection of its application to transfer asbestos between vans and locked skips was disappointing.

Medway Council's planning committee voted by 14-1 to refuse the proposal.

'Wrong area'

Councillors refused the application to change the use of the depot in North Dane Way to an asbestos waste transfer station because of the impact it would have on the surrounding residential area.

Following the vote on Wednesday night, planning officers said it had not been demonstrated "that the development can be carried out without the risk of waste, which is not double bagged and in an unsuitable container, being either handled on site or flytipped in the vicinity of the site".

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

Chatham MP Tracey Crouch, who objected the application on the basis of health risks, said the result was a testament to the campaign run by residents and local councillors concerned about the increased level of asbestos going through the site.

Private waste

"The committee made it very clear that they weren't opposed to asbestos sites in industrial areas, but they just didn't feel that this application was in the right area," she said.

Ms Hales said Asbestos First would have to consider if there was a way forward .

"It's going to make it very difficult to dispose of asbestos-containing materials.

"Although council tips do accept private asbestos waste, they only accept cement bonded waste, so there is still currently nowhere for people to dispose of textured coating that contains asbestos in their houses or floor tiles," she said.

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