Page last updated at 10:42 GMT, Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Plans approved for asbestos site

Site of proposed housing development on Derby Road
The site was used to make cement products containing asbestos

Plans to build 123 new homes on the site of a former asbestos cement works have been approved by a Cheshire council.

Halton Borough Council passed an application to redevelop land in Derby Road, Widnes, on Monday night.

Residents opposed the plans, at the former Turners Asbestos Cement works, fearing work could disturb asbestos.

A council spokesman said permission was granted "subject to a significant number of stringent conditions."

A wide range of cement products containing asbestos were manufactured at the site from 1916 until 1999.

Asbestos strategy

Campaigners claim that disturbing the land would lead to dormant asbestos being distributed into the surrounding air.

The council spokesman said developer Marley Eternit Ltd had been required to produce a full, detailed site investigation and risk assessment.

It also had to develop a strategy to redevelop the site safely, including how it will deal with asbestos.

He added: "We understand residents' concerns and all the issues raised have been fully considered.

"All these issues were discussed at the meeting before the decision was made."

Eternit, which owns the land along with the council, said in a statement that it had been fully compliant with health, safety and environmental law.

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