‘Victory of people power’ as Barking asbestos transfer site withdrawn

Residents with their petition against the site

Residents with their petition against the site - Credit: Archant

Plans to build an asbestos transfer site just yards from one of the borough’s busiest estates have been withdrawn by the developers.

Thousands of people signed a petition objecting to proposals for an asbestos transfer and waste storage facility at Barking’s Lyon Business Park, which were submitted by OCS Group Limited to the council “in error” earlier this year.

A second application was later submitted, and although the company insisted no deadly fibres would have been stored at the plant, residents and local businesses stood united in opposition.

A petition and hand-written letters totalling more than 2,000 signatures were handed to the council in July and Joseph Plaskett, 67, of Charlton Crescent – just 10 metres away from the site – has praised the rewards of community spirit.

“It’s a fantastic result for people power,” he said. “A lot of people have been involved in this so a big thank you must go out to all the residents and members of the public that have signed the petition.

“A lot of people told us, ‘You’ve got no chance,’ but we got there, in the end.”

Although disappointed by the lack of involvement by the local councillors, Joseph admits it has made the victory all the more impressive.

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“I’d like to thank all the councillors for all their help,” he joked.

“Not one had the decency to reply to our emails, so this is a victory of pure people power. This is a real uplift for me personally – it feels like winning the pools.”

OCS declined to comment.