27 houses on Barking estate test positive for asbestos
- Credit: Archant
Asbestos has been found in 27 houses on a Barking housing estate, the Post can reveal.
The potentially deadly fibres were found in all of the properties in Wivenhoe Road and Stebbing Way where testing has been completed, after the internal walls of a neighbouring council house undergoing renovations were found to contain asbestos.
A spokesman for Barking and Dagenham Council said that no asbestos fibres were found in the air which means that the material is safe “if left undamaged and not disturbed”.
However, tenants on the Thames View Estate will have to leave their homes while the council removes the asbestos to go ahead with its modernisation programme to replace kitchens, bathrooms and wiring as part of the decent homes improvement plan.
No timeframe has been given for the work to be carried out.
Council tenants, including the father of a two-week-old baby and a family who have had to abandon refurbishments midway through, were among those still anxiously waiting for the results of testing when the Post went to press yesterday. (Tuesday).
Nicola Cole, who lives in Wivenhoe Road with her husband and their two children, has had to abandon refitting her kitchen after being warned it could put her family’s health at risk.
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“They have told me that there is asbestos here and not to touch anything,” she said.
“I was halfway through doing the kitchen and I was told to stop so I am just waiting.
“We’ve not had any timescale but we’ve been told it will be weeks rather than months.”
Her neighbour and fellow council tenant Samuel Olaleye, 45, is a dad of four children, including a two-week old baby girl.
“I have a family and I have a lot of concern for them,” he said. “It needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.”
Samuel suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which would be worsened by exposure to asbestos.
As reported in the Post last week, Tanya McCracken, a council tenant in Wivenhoe Road, was allegedly told the council had known about asbestos in her home since 2010 – but had only informed her this year.
The council said it did not know who had told Tanya her home contained asbestos, or why her home had not been tested along with the others last month.
Tanya, who has still not been told where the asbestos is in her home, said she hoped that the council would “get in and get it done”.