-URGENT DEBATE CALLED FOR UK PARLIAMENT TODAY.
Latest news from the troubled former asbestos factory site in Rochdale where there are controversial plans to build 600 homes and a children’s nursery: The former Turner & Newall site in the Spodden Valley was once the world’s largest asbestos textile factory:
Tests conducted by the Health and Safety Executive and just released under the Freedom of Information Act have confirmed traces of deadly asbestos in large piles of crushed rubble on the former asbestos factory site.
The piles of rubble, clearly seen from a nearby main road, measure up to 30 feet high and may contain about 1000 tonnes of crushed building waste.
The HSE reports just released suggest up to 1% asbestos within 3 of the 8 samples taken- This may be up to ten times higher than the legal limits before waste is classified as “Hazardous”
(The legal likmit is 0.1% w/w) -see http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/netregs/processes/367829/?lang=_e
Local residents are concerned – over the past 10 months they say they gathered photographs and videos of the rubble being disturbed by heavy machinery and loaded on open wagons then driven through the streets of Rochdale to unknown destinations.
Campaign group “Save Spodden Valley” is asking for an immediate enquiry to find out:
1. Where has some of the rubble been moved to?
2. Can experts determine if there is a health risk?
3. Why did the developers’ own tests on the rubble detect no asbestos?
Rochdale’s new MP Paul Rowen has called an urgent Adjournment Debate in Parliament for today (Tuesday 28th June- 1.30pm Westminster Hall)
Supported by a number of North-West and national MPs from all parties, Paul Rowen is to quiz a Government Minister on the:
“Controls on the safe removal of asbestos dumped in landfill and derelict industrial sites”
The MP believes that the questions raised in Rochdale may have health implications for national house building policy on former industrial sites.
In addition to approximately 1000 tonnes of crushed rubble already on the Rochdale Site, the developers Countryside Properties and MMC Estates have submitted plans to demolish all the former asbestos factory buildings on the 72 acres site to create about 30,000 tonnes of infill for the controversial housing development.
The planning application is currently on hold with Rochdale Council pending further tests and reports.