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Freeman's Wood TPO Appeal - Asbestos questions?

Chris Satori
Disturbed landfill strewn outside the site fenceThe City Council Appeals Committee will hear the appeal against the Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) at Freeman's Wood at 2pm on Monday 23 April at Lancaster Town Hall. The appeal is being brought by the Property Trust Group, who own the land and have a potential proposal before the Council for a residential development there. However, as we reported in March, workmen have already uprooted and felled numerous trees while mining the site, which used to be a landfill waste site for the Storey linoleum factory. Masses of old linoleum waste and construction rubble have been unearthed and much of this now lies on land outside the site too.

We understand that the Council is still investigating possible breaches of the TPOs, and that the Environmental Health Service has visited the site to investigate the waste materials on the privately owned land. The Council has informed us that their investigation did not reveal any evidence of flytipping and we refer them again to our photographs showing the extensive quantities of waste and rubble strewn and piled on land and paths adjacent to the site.

We have asked the Council who is responsible for cleaning up the mess (presumably the people who made it?) and await their reply.

Unearthed waste at Freeman's WoodsVirtual Lancaster asked the City Council to confirm that there is no asbestos or hazardous waste contaminating the site. Asbestos was used widely throughout the old Storey factory, requiring comprehensive removal works back in the 1980s when the buildings were redeveloped.  Linoleum being a highly flammable product it is possible that asbestos-proofed packaging material may also have been used from as early as 1890. To our knowledge there have never been any reports of hazardous contamination on the site, but, since it was covered and planted, it has never been so substantially and deeply disturbed as has recently happened. We are still awaiting confirmation.

See previous stories:

Catastrophic damage to 'protected' Freeman's Wood - photos

and:  Coronation Field developer's next target?

See also