Asbestos Timebomb

Local people are set to protest against plans to create an asbestos dump and storage unit in Kennedy Way Industrial Estate.

The Andersonstown News can reveal that an application for planning permission to store sealed containers of asbestos in Blackstaff Way was lodged last week.

And Sinn Féin Councillor Chrissie McAuley says that if the application is successful then Kennedy Way could become a dumping ground for other dangerous chemicals and the long-term health implications could be “catastrophic”.

Permission to store sealed containers of asbestos along with smaller bags of the toxic material while awaiting transfer was lodged at the end of August.

An angry Chrissie McAuley said that for the past number of years she has been working with local residents and businesses to have all traces of asbestos removed from local homes and properties.

“However, now we see an application to house large amounts of asbestos in an industrial estate surrounded by one of the busiest retail areas in Belfast,” she said.

“We have been told it will be stored in secure drums but what assurances have we that in the future these drums will not be vulnerable to vandalism or industrial accident.

“I have grave concerns for the health and wellbeing of people working close to this proposed dump.

“As a councillor on Belfast City Council I will be using all my power to ensure that this application is subject to the utmost scrutiny.”

There were angry scenes in Crumlin last month when it was revealed that a similar dump was earmarked for the County Antrim town. It is now expected that local people will protest against these latest plans to store asbestos in the heart of Andersonstown.

Journalist:: Allison Morris

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