Asbestos Update: Part 1

Willow Lane News

Back in April last year, when I posted the When I Survey… blog entry, we were in the process of having many surveys carried out on the building and the surrounding land, to establish suitability for redevelopment, and to be prepared for any of the surprises that might come up once we do start developing.

The most enlightening report from all of those surveys was the full, and rather invasive, Refurbishment & Demolition Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) report.  The original report provided to us upon the purchase of the site in 2015 was fairly minimal and vague, identifying a few instances of visible and/or exposed asbestos that needed a management plan if the building were to remain occupied in its current form.

The survey we commissioned involved dismantling of a lot of the cosmetic coverings, panelling, fixtures & fittings; including smashing holes in plasterboard walls and boxing around pipes, columns and girders, accessing above suspended ceilings and in cupboards and voids that we couldn’t find a key for (Turns out a big hammer is quite effective as a key).

Surveyors sampled over 60 instances of suspect material found across the site and took them back to the lab for analysis; 37 of these were identified as having asbestos in them.  Of that thirty-seven, 21 instances were high risk and required removal or environmental clean and encapsulation by a licensed contractor, and their removal and disposal is notifiable to the HSE, the white-coated Elders of Health & Safety in the UK.

Initial quotations for the complete removal of all 37 instances of Asbestos were well in excess of £50,000.  As you can imagine, this was a bit of a set back for us, as it is an early, unexpected upfront cost that we need to fund before we can begin any demolition and development work.  At the time we were also looking to fund the re-development of the houses as a priority.

This is part of the reason for the blog posts on the main site going quiet for so long.  Now we have made some progress on the Asbestos work required, and have been able to reduce the price considerably.  In short, we have a bit of a plan!

To be continued…..

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