Sheffield Student Flats Stall Over Asbestos Concerns

Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E.

Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E.


Sheffield Student Flats Stall Over Asbestos Concerns

Fargate Court, a block of offices on the main shopping street in Sheffield, was due to be transformed into a £4.6 million student accommodation development, with planning permission approved by the city council in May last year to see it turned into almost 50 apartments.

However, according to the Sheffield Star, the project has hit something of a stumbling block after asbestos was discovered in the building. And now Sheffield Council has said it is dissatisfied with the slow progress of the project and has now served notice to remove the scaffolding… but because of the asbestos discovery this will have to remain for quite some time to come.

Managing construction director at developer Coyne Group Gareth Reynolds said the company is doing all it can to finalise discussions with the council with regards to the safe access compound and the scaffolding on site.

He told the news source: “The removal of asbestos requires strict adherance to legislation and Health & Safety Executive guidelines. Both we and our contractor intend to undertake this work as quickly as possible.

“We have made a number of suggestions that will enable us to improve the position on the site and are waiting for authorisation and approval from the council. We want to complete this work as soon as possible, as the delays have a significant fiscal impact for the company and we are mindful that the local retailers want to be aware of progress.”

Retailers have voiced their concerns about the presence of the scaffolding, such as owner of the Cards & Gifts shop Carl Dunne saying that it has been on site for ten months but only three months of work has thus far been carried out.

He went on to add that trade is now being affected and antisocial behaviour is on the rise because it’s so dark and gloomy beneath the scaffolds, adding that he’s had customers in the past coming up and saying they thought the shop had shut because it looks like Fargate has been closed down.

It’s vital that risk assessments are carried out for all jobs where asbestos may be present so that these risks can be properly managed. Asbestos poses serious risks to health, with Health and Safety Executive figures showing that it still kills about 5,000 workers every year – which is higher than the number of people killed on the road.

About 20 tradesmen die every week because of past exposure, but it’s important to remember asbestos isn’t just a problem of the past… it can also be found in any building that was either built or refurbished before the year 2000.

When asbestos-containing materials are disturbed, fibres are released into the air and if inhaled can result in serious diseases which won’t affect you immediately… but once diagnosis has been made, it’s often too late to do anything about it.

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