Asbestos sparks row at Warsop allotments

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A Warsop allotment holder has slammed Mansfield District Council for its powerlessness to enforce the removal of asbestos from an adjacent plot.

The council’s environmental health department confirmed a report that cement sheeting had been buried at Ridgeway Lane allotments.

But the authority said there was no imminent risk to public health a unless the sheeting was disturbed, so it had advised the association which runs the allotment how to remove it and agreed to oversee the removal.

Graham White (56), of Hammerwater Drive, Warsop, said: “I am concerned because it is illegal to bury asbestos across the board.

“If the council cannot enforce the removal of this material then there is no deterrent to stop others doing the same.

“I am an allotment user myself, so does this mean I can bury asbestos and stick two fingers up at Environmental Health?

“It makes you wonder why people are paying taxes for a body like this. They should be able to prosecute.”

Alan Crossman, secretary of Warsop Allotments and Leisure Gardeners’ Association, said two-three sheets of asbestos had been buried at the plot in question but there was no danger of the land being cultivated so there was no risk to public health.

Coun Mick Barton, Mansfield District Council’s portfolio holder for public protection, said: “We have registered the allotment on our contaminated land database and asked the association to document the contamination as there could be issues if the sheeting was disturbed.

“We have advised them about how to remove it safely and legally and agreed to oversee the removal so that we can update our records when completed.

“As the risk is being adequately managed, we cannot legally force the association to remove the sheeting.”