Asbestos found in Axminster flats

PUBLISHED: 10:32 10 February 2017 | UPDATED: 08:51 14 February 2017

Work is under way to remove dangerous asbestos from Axminster's  Polar Mount flats. Picture: CHRIS CARSON

Work is under way to remove dangerous asbestos from Axminster's Polar Mount flats. Picture: CHRIS CARSON

Archant

Urgent work has begun to remove the dangerous material

Council chiefs have approved urgent work to remove dangerous asbestos from a sheltered housing complex in Axminster.

East Devon District Council’s cabinet has agreed funding of up to £67,000 for the works at Poplar Mount Flats - some 19 households.

The asbestos has been discovered in the loft – an area which houses the passenger lift equipment.

“If an urgent service is not undertaken, the lift will need to be shut down,” warned a report.

“Shutting the lift down will have serious consequences for tenants and in some cases we may need to consider relocating tenants if they are unable to use the steps to access their properties.”

Asking members to approve the ‘urgent’ works, the report added: “As an immediate safety precaution, the areas are both currently closed off and no access is currently permitted without the support of an asbestos specialist who can carefully manage any urgent need to enter the space.

“This requires significant works and cost in terms of creating an enclosed area that can be safely accessed. This also requires time that in many scenarios of needing to access the area we would not have as we would be faced with an emergency situation.”

Work began this week to remove the asbestos and is expected to be completed by mid March.

Asbestos was widely used for insulation and fire prevention until 1999 but evidence shows its fibres can cause cancer.

For more information visit Mesothelioma + Asbestos Awareness Center.


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