Public reassured over former gas holder site in Burgess Hill after concerns raised

The former gas holder in Leylands Road, Burgess Hill. Picture: Steve Robards
The former gas holder in Leylands Road, Burgess Hill. Picture: Steve Robards

The public have been reassured over a former gas holder site in Burgess Hill after health and safety concerns were raised.

The concerns were that the grounds were contaminated.

One resident said that new material had been identified at the site as contaminated, five weeks after the site was given the all clear of any contamination.

The gas holder has been demolished to make way for Lidl – as part of the town centre redevelopment.

Justin Thomas, residential director for NewRiver REIT, responded to the concerns. He said: “We can confirm that the work to clear the former gas holder was completed earlier this summer.

“In the phase of work that followed, large quantities of fill were brought in to level the site. We undertook sample testing of the new fill and identified trace amounts of unsuitable material in a limited area of the site.

“The unsuitable material consisted of small pieces of asbestos cement, which is considered low risk when properly managed and controlled.

“The reason for this is that it is classified as non-friable, i.e. it cannot easily produce respirable fibres.

“The material therefore poses very little risk to the public and has no long term impact on the site.

“Working in full accordance with the local environmental health officer, NewRiver appointed specialist contractors to carry out a short programme of work to remove the material safely and efficiently from the site, in compliance with relevant legislation for the management of asbestos containing materials.

“The contractor employed additional safety measures throughout these works.

“This included undertaking continued monitoring and air sampling and dampening down the material during secure removal from site by lorry, which is then transferred to a suitably licenced landfill facility.

“A public notice was posted to the gates of the secure site on July 26, to inform neighbours of the works, which began on July 27, and is now nearly complete, due to the relatively small quantities being removed from within a limited area of the site.

“NewRiver is committed to maintaining the highest possible standards on all development projects. We will provide further updates to the local community in due course.”

Pru Moore, leader of Burgess Hill Town Council, also responded to the concerns. She told the Middy: “The site was declared clean in June. In fill was brought in and it is correct to say this had minute levels of contamination which has been removed.

“This was done in accordance with all health and safety guidelines and practice.”

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