Last Updated on September 17, 2019 by Kirsty Smithson
A man from the Isle of Wight who is suffering from asbestosis has warned other locals could develop asbestosis if a proposed local housing development goes ahead.
12 new homes are set to be constructed after permission was recently granted by The Isle of Wight Council, despite evidence showing that the site was contaminated.
The site has previously been used as a refuse dump, an ash dump for a brickworks and for munitions storage, according to Environmental Health.
Environmental Health therefore recommended that a four step approach be taken in checking the area is safe before any groundworks or building works commence on site.
But despite this advice, the council still approved the planning application on the 30th October.
Keith Wilson, a 70 year old local resident, suffers from the asbestos related disease asbestosis.
Mr Wilson says the site was previously a dump for brick and coal works, where the ash would contain arsenic, mercury and cyanide.
It was also used as an unregulated municipal dump.
Keith said, “There is asbestos in there, I am convinced of that.”
Mr Wilson added that asbestos fibers will be released into the atmosphere if the land is disturbed.
He added, “Of the six people that were contaminated by the Russian nerve agent Novichok, five survived. If six people were contaminated with asbestos, and got asbestosis, all six would die.”
Other local residents are also concerned, including Brian Break and Bill Moore.
As well as Councillor Michael Lilley, who actually voted against the plans.
Mr Lilley explained that any residents who oppose the plans will find it virtually impossible to reverse the Council’s decision.
He said, “A developer can easily appeal to the inspector if they get a decision made against them. Residents can’t.”
“To me it’s one of those unfair situations.”
He recommends locals write to local councillors and keep an eye on whether or not preconditions could help.
It could be possible to take the case to a judicial review if residents have the money to do so.
Residents could also try speaking to Councilllor Barry Abraham who is the cabinet member for planning.
However, Councillor Lilley says he doubts very little, if anything, could be done.
A spokesman from the Isle of Wight Council said, “Planning application TCP/33425, P/00354/18 was considered by the Planning Committee in October, and resolved for planning permission. The permission is yet to be issued, as it is subject to a legal agreement, which is currently being drafted.”
“Given the possibility for some contamination at this site, the officer recommended a condition should be imposed to include a four-stage process, to ensure due regard is taken to the possibility of contamination being found at this site. If required, it would be remediated.”
“This condition has been imposed as a pre-commencement condition to ensure contamination risks are addressed prior to the development taking place.”
“To date, no works have taken place.”
“The Planning Authority cannot comment on what contaminants may be present, because that information will not be at hand until the planning condition has been complied with.”
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