Health fears over asbestos on site

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Children are putting themselves at risk by playing on an eyesore site in Fleetwood where asbestos has been identified.

Councillors Ian and Ruth Duffy have raised concerns about the former Turners Cash and Carry site on Radcliffe Road.

The wholsesale business left the site several years ago and the building was demolished, with the site then cordoned off with fencing.

However, over the last couple of years some of the barriers have fallen away and local children have been seen playing on the rubbish-strewn land.

The Duffys have been in touch with Wyre Council’s environment health department about the issue, and Wyre confirmed the presence of asbestos.

Wyre Council says it is 
taking action over the issue and Turners Cash and Carry insists they will act to make the site secure.

However, it remains open at the rear of the land, close to housing, and the concerns remain.

Asbestos is still cited as the single biggest cause of work-related deaths in the UK each year, with some 4,500 deaths attributed to mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, and diffuse pleural thickening, all caused by the material.

Coun Ruth Duffy said: “We been having to contact Wyre over several years now, to get the boundary fencing repaired.

“We know that kids are using broken down fences to gain entrance.

“We are concerned that there are asbestos materials on the site and that anyone exposed to it could in the future suffer a horrible illness as a result.

“At one time the asbestos was at least stored away in an outhouse but that has now fallen apart and the asbestos is easy to get at.

“We asked Wyre’s Environmental Health team to carry out tests and one of the officers has been back in touch to confirm the presence of asbestos.

“We are not blaming Wyre Council, but urgent action really is needed now.”

Rachel Wilkinson, 31, of Broomfield Road, is Coun Duffy’s daughter and added: “Residents around here have to look at this mess every day.

“Kids are playing there at night and apart from that being a nuisance, they are also at risk. It is too easy to get in.”

Barry Green, a director of Turners cash and Carry, said: “We have recently put new fencing up at the side, but if it is still open we will look to sort it out.

“We have outline planning permission for housing there, and we are re-submitting our plans.”

A Wyre Council spokeswoman said: “We have inspected the site and there is asbestos within it. The land is privately owned and we are taking action to address this.”

Sgt Dan Whitaker, the Fleetwood and Thornton Cleveleys Neighbourhood Sergeant, said: “We’re aware of this and will be taking our lead from Wyre Council’s environmental health department.

“We will be patrolling this area until the owners take the necessary action to make it more secure.”

Sgt Whitakersaid police were mindful of the health and safety issues for local children.