HOUSING developers who have gained permission to build on land in Uttoxeter say they are aware of reports of asbestos on the site amid concerns from community members. David Wilson Homes Mercia gained permission to build 429 dwellings, a public open space, landscaping draining attenuation areas, access roads and associated works and the demotion of buildings at Hazelwalls Farm on Timber Lane earlier this year. However, several members of the community have raised concerns about safety of the site after photographing mounted heaps of soil segregated off by metal fences and warning signs.
At a recent Uttoxeter Town Council meeting, resident David Lynch said: “We are concerned about land contamination at Hazelwalls and we understand that it may be asbestos.
“There is nothing in the public domain so we don’t know what’s going on.
“It’s in a field just 15 metres away from a children’s play area and there’s huge mountains of soil that is contaminated with asbestos.
“In the last few weeks I’ve seen a metal fence and skull and crossbones signs.
“Local residents want to know what is going on and ask for support from the town council to wave a flag for us and help us find out what is going on, how long it is going to be there for and how dangerous it could be for the people around and the children in the play area.
“At the moment, we are in the dark and it would be nice to know what is going on.”
Speaking to the Times and Echo, Mr Lynch further explained: “We are basically annoyed as residents because all of this has happened and been dumped on our doorsteps as contaminated soil and absolutely no one has informed residents of what is going on.
“We have to rely on our eyes and rumour as there is nothing in the public domain to our knowledge.
“As already said, it has been dumped and as you will see from the photos has not been fence protected and not properly covered to avoid wind blown scatter and dumped next to houses and a children’s play area.
“The photos show the proximity to the play area and houses.
“Why wasn’t it taken fully away from site to be safe and dealt with?
“How long is it going on? When will the soil mountains be taken away?”
“Where’s the detailed written plan to manage the risk? Let’s see it.”
At another recent Uttoxeter Town Council meeting, Councillor Chris Sylvester stated: “This contaminated land concerns me a lot.
“If everything is OK why is it covered off and bordered off?”
The Hazelwalls Farm site has a marketing name of Bentley Fields, according to a spokesperson for David Wilson Homes Mercia.
Dominic Harman, Managing Director at David Wilson Homes Mercia, told the Times and Echo:
“We have always been aware of the reported asbestos on the second phase of our Bentley Fields development in Uttoxeter.
“This was detected during our initial surveys in advance of any works taking place.
“As a responsible homebuilder we immediately instructed a specialist contractor who is working closely with all statutory stakeholders to ensure this known material is safely located, stockpiled and secured over 100 metres from any existing residential properties in full accordance with our approved remediation strategy.”
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