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Frome residents reassured over asbestos demolition

Demolition of the factory.

Demolition of the factory.

FROMEresidents have been reassured that the destruction of the old Weston Vinyls factory on Vallis Road is being done safely.

Demolition of the factory buildings, which are now owned by property developers Connolly & Callaghan, began recently. Locals were concerned that the asbestos roof sheets are being broken and releasing dangerous fibres.

However, Connolly & Callaghan say safety experts have visited the site and deemed it safe for work to continue.

A spokesperson for Connolly & Callaghan said, “Following the reports from residents and a councillor about the safety of the site I called in a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to carry out an inspection. The whole site was deemed safe and work will continue.

“We will continue to work within all HSE regulations. I even visited the site myself and I found nothing to concern me. The HSE said they would have closed the site down if there was a problem but as we expected everything is fine.”

Kay Chapman, a residnet who lives next to the site had raised concerns about the safety of the demolition. She said, “My husband and I noticed over two weeks ago that the roofs of the existing buildings were being demolished. These are constructed of asbestos, which is harmless in sheet form, but the construction team used a 360 excavator to crash through the building.  At the time we were in the garden – which backs onto the site – and could smell the asbestos in the air.”

She then contacted Frome town councillor Helen Sprawson-White, and was visited by Graham Blanksby, an environmental health officer from Mendip District Council.

“Soon after this,” Kay said, “the work stopped, and we found out from a close friend that the site was visited by the Health and Safety Executive.

“But then on Monday 4th August, work was started again.”

Connolly & Callaghan, who specialise in eco-friendly construction, intend to build a mixed use scheme on the site.