Workers are due to start clearing the site of a former asbestos factory in Rochdale, despite the safety fears of people living nearby.
The Environment Agency will oversee the work
Developers want to build 650 homes on the Turner and Newall site, in Spodden Valley, Rochdale, Greater Manchester.
Campaigners are concerned about the dangers of asbestos contamination as rubble and dust is moved from the area.
They have asked Rochdale Council to stop the work until more information has been made available by specialists.
But the council say it is satisfied that the workers and local residents involved will be safe.
The Environment Agency will oversee the removal of the rubble.
The company carrying out the work, Federal Mogul Ltd, insists it will remove the rubble using methods approved by the Health and Safety Executive.
In a joint statement the Environment Agency and Health and Safety Executive said the work would be done in accordance with the relevant law and so that the workers involved and local people will be safe.
"Federal Mogul has agreed to remove the asbestos-containing rubble as if it were hazardous waste to a permitted landfill."