Page last updated at 18:11 GMT, Monday, 20 October 2008 19:11 UK

Appeal over asbestos ship ruling

Clemenceau
The Clemenceau was built in 1957

A decision to allow a French warship contaminated with asbestos to be dismantled on Teesside is to be challenged in the Court of Appeal.

Able UK was given permission to scrap the Clemenceau at Hartlepool dock in a High Court ruling last month.

Campaign group Friends of Hartlepool (FOH) has now won the right to contest the decision at an appeal hearing.

No date has been set for the case and the ship is expected to remain in France until it is concluded.

Jean Kennedy, of FOH, said the group's lawyers would argue that the decision of the Health and Safety Executive to allow the importation of the ship and its carcinogenic cargo was unlawful.

Widespread protests

Iris Ryder, another member of FOH, said: "This is a fantastic result for the people of Hartlepool and takes us one step closer to preventing this toxic waste from being imported and dumped in our community.

"People and groups on both sides of the Channel are rightly asking serious questions about the safety of Able's proposals."

The Clemenceau, now known as Hull Q790, has been docked off the port of Brest in France since 2006 when the French government called it back from a breakers' yard in India in the wake of widespread protests.

In a statement Able UK said the company was still on track to undertake the disposal of the former French aircraft carrier on Teesside.

Chairman and chief executive Peter Stephenson said: "Obviously it is disappointing that we - or to be more accurate, all taxpayers - are seeing yet more public money being spent on yet another delaying attempt by a small group of activists."

He added they were confident the dismantling of the vessel would go ahead.


SEE ALSO
Chirac orders 'toxic' ship home
16 Feb 06 |  Europe

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