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Barking Riverside construction work halted by asbestos

PUBLISHED: 13:48 01 September 2015 | UPDATED: 14:08 01 September 2015

The construction site in River road

The construction site in River road

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Construction work on one of the capital’s biggest housing schemes has stopped after developers found asbestos in the ground.

Joseph Plaskett (left) helped spearhead a petition which gained more than 2,000 signatures opposing plans for a waste management plant dealing with asbestosJoseph Plaskett (left) helped spearhead a petition which gained more than 2,000 signatures opposing plans for a waste management plant dealing with asbestos

Bellway Homes, who are managing the Barking Riverside development in conjunction with the Greater London Authority (GLA), confirmed tests were currently being carried out after toxic fibres were spotted just off River Road.

Bellway managing director Richard Burrows said: “It’s quite common in regeneration projects like these to find asbestos from time to time.

“Work will continue as normal in a couple of weeks.

“Once the area has been tested, the asbestos will either be taken away to elsewhere on the site or permanently removed – there is no cause for concern.”

Barking has had a long history with asbestos, with Cape Asbestos, based in Harts Lane from 1913 to 1968, the target of claims from victims of “environmental” asbestos poisoning for many years.

Joseph Plaskett, 67, of Charlton Crescent, grew up on the Thames View estate, linked to Barking Riverside by River Road

Earlier this year he led a petition opposing plans for an asbestos transfer and waste storage facility at Lyon Business Park, and claims there is much more asbestos to be found nearby.

“It’s a well-known fact that the area was used to dump asbestos,” he said. “It was just completely open land at the time.

“Anybody that lived here in the 60s will tell you the same – I’m sure they’ll find more.”

“I wouldn’t want to live anywhere near asbestos.”

A council spokesman said: “As part of the planning permission, the developer must treat any contamination found to ensure there is no threat to construction workers or the public.

“Once this remedial work is complete, the developer is required to produce a report confirming the site is now suitable for residential use.”


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