1929 newspaper advertisement from Perth, Western Australia, for asbestos sheeting for residential building construction.

The Asbestos survey report in the demolition notice for the Harvest Home is incomplete. It appears that the analysis of samples taken were muddled up when the report was filed with B&DBC planners, over four months ago.

The survey of the property (HERE) by an asbestos inspection contractor, NetworkUK, indicated 7 samples were taken away for asbestos analysis, and the subcontractor, Linsch, reported back on just 5 samples – but for a different premises. The report is titled, “Wooldridge Demolition Asbestos Survey Report”.

B&DBC also are having problems with asbestos at their demolition sites in Basing View, as reported a few weeks ago in the Basingstoke Gazette.

The Health & Safety Executive state on their website, “When these [asbestos] fibres are inhaled they can cause serious diseases which are responsible for around 4000 deaths a year…Asbestos related diseases won’t affect immediately but later on in life…Asbestos is the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in the UK.”

The HSE give this grim statistics for people working in the construction industry and having had exposure to asbestos: every week on average 4 plumbers die, 20 tradesmen die, 6 electricians die, 8 joiners die all from this hidden killer.

The Harvest Home building was erected in the 1920s and had several approved planning applications for extensions starting in 1983. There is no requirement for notification of changes to the interior, as it is not nationally listed (but it is locally listed). Advertisements for buildings constructed with materials containing asbestos date back to the 1920s (see picture, right).

Asbestos was included in many building materials used in the 20th century: fire retardant coatings, concrete, bricks, pipes and fireplace cement, heat, fire, and acid resistant gaskets, pipe insulation, ceiling insulation, fireproof drywall, flooring, roofing, lawn furniture, and drywall joint compound.

The HSE state that the most risk comes from work, such as demolition, on buildings built before the year 2000.

Wikipedia states, “Early concern in the modern era on the health effects of asbestos exposure can be found in several sources. Among the earliest were reports in Britain. The annual reports of the Chief Inspector of Factories reported as early as 1898 that asbestos had ‘easily demonstrated’ health risks.”

There is only a ‘demolition notice’ for the Harvest Home, which B&DBC cannot refuse. The Council could stop demolition and require a planning application, which would require thorough analysis and public comment, but are refusing to do so. The Council are fearful that the developers will sue them.

The asbestos reported done in April 2011 is HERE. The Government’s Health & Safety Executive website is HERE. The Basingstoke Gazette article referred to is HERE.
Articles published about the Harvest Home are listed HERE.
The demolition notice is available by clicking: BDB/74736. Your comments can be added to it HERE.

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