Asbestos fears lead to digging ban at communal garden in Newbury Avenue, York

York Press: Asbestos fears lead to gardeners digging ban Asbestos fears lead to gardeners digging ban

GARDENERS have been told not to dig down more than 12 inches because of safety fears in part of York.

Residents of flats in the Newbury Avenue area have been cultivating a communal garden for years, but now council bosses have set a 30cm (12ins) limit for digging in the flower beds because of concern about asbestos from a local tip which closed in the 1950s. They say any material in the soil is perfectly safe – as long as people do not disturb it by digging or lifting any paving stones or turf.

The warning applies to a number of gardens off Kingsway West, Newbury Avenue and Windsor Garth and near the garage block, off Newbury Avenue.

Resident Susan Crosby, 49, said: “It is a very strange thing to get a letter you can’t dig any deeper than 12 inches. I have lived in council property all my life and never had a letter telling me not to dig anywhere, which is effectively what it means.”

Jack Hart, from The Freedom Association, said: “This is yet another example of local councils being overzealous when it comes to health and safety. There is no need at all to prevent those who wish to work in the garden from doing so.”

City of York Council has secured £57,000 of government funding to investigate an old tip off Foxwood Lane where household waste was last dumped in the 1950s. As waste disposal can sometimes cause land pollution, the grant was used to fund soil, water and ground gas sampling.

Lucie Hankinson, senior contaminated land officer, said in a letter to residents: “The soil was found to contain pockets of ash and occasional fragments of asbestos cement or boarding.

“However, in every location where ash or asbestos was identified, it was found to be covered by a layer of turf, inert soil or tarmac.

“People are therefore unlikely to come into contact with it and so it is not considered to pose a significant risk to health. However, we would advise that residents avoid removing existing areas of turf, tarmac or paving, and avoid digging deeper than 30 centimetres (12 inches) below ground level in existing flowerbeds where possible.”

It has ruled out classing the ground as “contaminated” and says no further action is needed.

Steve Waddington, assistant director for housing and community safety, said: “In common with most cities, land formerly used for domestic waste disposal has been built around. As we advised residents in early April, our rigorous investigation has shown there is very little risk as any builders’ rubble lies under an inert layer of turf, soil or concrete, and we’re advising those entitled to use this small communal garden to avoid digging deeper than 30cm.”

Comments (13)

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11:59am Tue 27 May 14

Oaklands Resident says...

That would be the Newbury Avenue where the Council are planning to build a block of 9 new flats then?

Nice trick if they can build them without digging down more than 12 inches!
That would be the Newbury Avenue where the Council are planning to build a block of 9 new flats then? Nice trick if they can build them without digging down more than 12 inches! Oaklands Resident
  • Score: 18

12:27pm Tue 27 May 14

heworth.28 says...

Why have the Freedom Association, a Conservative organisation based in the south, been quoted in this article?
Why have the Freedom Association, a Conservative organisation based in the south, been quoted in this article? heworth.28
  • Score: 3

1:16pm Tue 27 May 14

YorkPatrol says...

heworth.28 wrote:
Why have the Freedom Association, a Conservative organisation based in the south, been quoted in this article?
Why is it a problem they have?
[quote][p][bold]heworth.28[/bold] wrote: Why have the Freedom Association, a Conservative organisation based in the south, been quoted in this article?[/p][/quote]Why is it a problem they have? YorkPatrol
  • Score: -1

1:36pm Tue 27 May 14

Dave Ruddock says...

I too find it odd that houses and all facilities (elec, gas, water) managed to be laid, then houses built on (contaminated, if only slightly) and over 50 years later the council say (Dont Dig). As mentioned more housing in the local area, and how stable are the homes, flats that are built. Are there any plans, maps showing theses waste disposal areas of old, available ???
I too find it odd that houses and all facilities (elec, gas, water) managed to be laid, then houses built on (contaminated, if only slightly) and over 50 years later the council say (Dont Dig). As mentioned more housing in the local area, and how stable are the homes, flats that are built. Are there any plans, maps showing theses waste disposal areas of old, available ??? Dave Ruddock
  • Score: 4

1:56pm Tue 27 May 14

again says...

Dave Ruddock wrote:
I too find it odd that houses and all facilities (elec, gas, water) managed to be laid, then houses built on (contaminated, if only slightly) and over 50 years later the council say (Dont Dig). As mentioned more housing in the local area, and how stable are the homes, flats that are built. Are there any plans, maps showing theses waste disposal areas of old, available ???
50 years ago people had more freedom to dump poisonous stuff wherever they liked and the health of those who had to deal with it was expendable.

The Freedom Association would like a return to the good old days, naturally.
[quote][p][bold]Dave Ruddock[/bold] wrote: I too find it odd that houses and all facilities (elec, gas, water) managed to be laid, then houses built on (contaminated, if only slightly) and over 50 years later the council say (Dont Dig). As mentioned more housing in the local area, and how stable are the homes, flats that are built. Are there any plans, maps showing theses waste disposal areas of old, available ???[/p][/quote]50 years ago people had more freedom to dump poisonous stuff wherever they liked and the health of those who had to deal with it was expendable. The Freedom Association would like a return to the good old days, naturally. again
  • Score: 2

2:00pm Tue 27 May 14

Kevin Turvey says...

Dave Ruddock says...
I too find it odd that houses and all facilities (elec, gas, water) managed to be laid, then houses built on (contaminated, if only slightly) and over 50 years later the council say (Dont Dig). As mentioned more housing in the local area, and how stable are the homes, flats that are built. Are there any plans, maps showing theses waste disposal areas of old, available ???


Yes,
Environment Agency – What’s in my backyard maps, you can see old and current disposal sites also available to look at air pollution sites etc.

http://apps.environm
ent-agency.gov.uk/wi
yby/37829.aspx

All contaminated land must be detailed in a Register held by the council.

The register is public viewable:

http://www.york.gov.
uk/info/200364/conta
minated_land/716/con
taminated_land_strat
egy_and_register


York councils register is empty and the quote is :
‘To date, we have not determined any sites as contaminated land under Part 2A. Consequently, there are currently no entries on our contaminated land register.’


How convenient for the council and non-useful to members of the public!
Dave Ruddock says... I too find it odd that houses and all facilities (elec, gas, water) managed to be laid, then houses built on (contaminated, if only slightly) and over 50 years later the council say (Dont Dig). As mentioned more housing in the local area, and how stable are the homes, flats that are built. Are there any plans, maps showing theses waste disposal areas of old, available ??? Yes, Environment Agency – What’s in my backyard maps, you can see old and current disposal sites also available to look at air pollution sites etc. http://apps.environm ent-agency.gov.uk/wi yby/37829.aspx All contaminated land must be detailed in a Register held by the council. The register is public viewable: http://www.york.gov. uk/info/200364/conta minated_land/716/con taminated_land_strat egy_and_register York councils register is empty and the quote is : ‘To date, we have not determined any sites as contaminated land under Part 2A. Consequently, there are currently no entries on our contaminated land register.’ How convenient for the council and non-useful to members of the public! Kevin Turvey
  • Score: 6

4:01pm Tue 27 May 14

mitch2nd says...

the H&S need to visit allotments in York, I have never seen so much Asbestos just dumped in these places, its a total danger
the H&S need to visit allotments in York, I have never seen so much Asbestos just dumped in these places, its a total danger mitch2nd
  • Score: 1

6:50pm Tue 27 May 14

petethefeet says...

It's a bit OTT. The only time that asbestos is a problem is when it appears as airborne dust. To make a comparison, have your nostrils twitched when you've been travelling in the old diesel High-Speed-Trains when they have been braking heavily? The smell is vermiculate - coming in from the brakes and through the air intakes. No problems nowadays, but when they were built in the 70's the brakes contained blue asbestos (crocidolite) . Nice!
PS. Seen as the Elfin-Safe-Tea brigade are out did they also advise gardeners to get injections for Tetanus, Hepatitis, check for wiles disease, etc, etc. If it were up to them then we would do nowt!
It's a bit OTT. The only time that asbestos is a problem is when it appears as airborne dust. To make a comparison, have your nostrils twitched when you've been travelling in the old diesel High-Speed-Trains when they have been braking heavily? The smell is vermiculate - coming in from the brakes and through the air intakes. No problems nowadays, but when they were built in the 70's the brakes contained blue asbestos (crocidolite) . Nice! PS. Seen as the Elfin-Safe-Tea brigade are out did they also advise gardeners to get injections for Tetanus, Hepatitis, check for wiles disease, etc, etc. If it were up to them then we would do nowt! petethefeet
  • Score: 3

8:37pm Tue 27 May 14

Back and Beyond says...

Kevin Turvey wrote:
Dave Ruddock says...
I too find it odd that houses and all facilities (elec, gas, water) managed to be laid, then houses built on (contaminated, if only slightly) and over 50 years later the council say (Dont Dig). As mentioned more housing in the local area, and how stable are the homes, flats that are built. Are there any plans, maps showing theses waste disposal areas of old, available ???


Yes,
Environment Agency – What’s in my backyard maps, you can see old and current disposal sites also available to look at air pollution sites etc.

http://apps.environm

ent-agency.gov.uk/wi

yby/37829.aspx

All contaminated land must be detailed in a Register held by the council.

The register is public viewable:

http://www.york.gov.

uk/info/200364/conta

minated_land/716/con

taminated_land_strat

egy_and_register


York councils register is empty and the quote is :
‘To date, we have not determined any sites as contaminated land under Part 2A. Consequently, there are currently no entries on our contaminated land register.’


How convenient for the council and non-useful to members of the public!
Convenient indeed, I suppose all the tons of asbestos buried from the old carriageworks will be 'forgotten' about when the teardrop site is developed?
[quote][p][bold]Kevin Turvey[/bold] wrote: Dave Ruddock says... I too find it odd that houses and all facilities (elec, gas, water) managed to be laid, then houses built on (contaminated, if only slightly) and over 50 years later the council say (Dont Dig). As mentioned more housing in the local area, and how stable are the homes, flats that are built. Are there any plans, maps showing theses waste disposal areas of old, available ??? Yes, Environment Agency – What’s in my backyard maps, you can see old and current disposal sites also available to look at air pollution sites etc. http://apps.environm ent-agency.gov.uk/wi yby/37829.aspx All contaminated land must be detailed in a Register held by the council. The register is public viewable: http://www.york.gov. uk/info/200364/conta minated_land/716/con taminated_land_strat egy_and_register York councils register is empty and the quote is : ‘To date, we have not determined any sites as contaminated land under Part 2A. Consequently, there are currently no entries on our contaminated land register.’ How convenient for the council and non-useful to members of the public![/p][/quote]Convenient indeed, I suppose all the tons of asbestos buried from the old carriageworks will be 'forgotten' about when the teardrop site is developed? Back and Beyond
  • Score: 3

9:04pm Tue 27 May 14

Geoffers says...

Lucie Hankinson, senior contaminated land officer ........


And just how many other 'contaminated land officers' are there?
[quote]Lucie Hankinson, senior contaminated land officer ........ [/quote] And just how many other 'contaminated land officers' are there? Geoffers
  • Score: 1

10:57am Wed 28 May 14

Brighouse Lad says...

This is an issue of building on brownfield sites that is often over looked. If you are buying a property on a brownfield site you need to check what the site used to be. How many developed brownfield sites have lots of nasty things lurking just below the surface??
This is an issue of building on brownfield sites that is often over looked. If you are buying a property on a brownfield site you need to check what the site used to be. How many developed brownfield sites have lots of nasty things lurking just below the surface?? Brighouse Lad
  • Score: 1

8:14pm Wed 28 May 14

Cheeky face says...

I would expect developers of the former carriage works site to do a full asbestos risk surveyor as a mandatory requirement of the Control of Asbestos Regulation 2012. Asbestos could exist in the closed garage on Piccadilly.

Does the 12 inch ruling(mentioned above) mean the council may put their foot in it?
I would expect developers of the former carriage works site to do a full asbestos risk surveyor as a mandatory requirement of the Control of Asbestos Regulation 2012. Asbestos could exist in the closed garage on Piccadilly. Does the 12 inch ruling(mentioned above) mean the council may put their foot in it? Cheeky face
  • Score: 0

8:23pm Wed 28 May 14

Cheeky face says...

Dangerous asbestos could be in buildings built before 1970.

Garages had this material. So did 1920s lino. Even car brake pads up
to 20 years ago. 1950s artex had a small amount also.

You may find in 10 years time all house sales for pre 1970 properties has a to have a full asbestos risk survey. These are not cheap! Many solicitors mortgage lenders have already got this as a condition of sale now- particularly rented houses etc. EU have a strong view on this now.
Dangerous asbestos could be in buildings built before 1970. Garages had this material. So did 1920s lino. Even car brake pads up to 20 years ago. 1950s artex had a small amount also. You may find in 10 years time all house sales for pre 1970 properties has a to have a full asbestos risk survey. These are not cheap! Many solicitors mortgage lenders have already got this as a condition of sale now- particularly rented houses etc. EU have a strong view on this now. Cheeky face
  • Score: 0

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