North Lynn asbestos fears raised

John Crisp at his home with the shed visible at the bottom of the garden.
John Crisp at his home with the shed visible at the bottom of the garden.

Sarah and John Crisp are worried the toxic material will cause future health problems for themselves and their four-year-old daughter Tegan after it was disturbed by workmen this week.

A specialist team from Freebridge Community Housing went to the family’s home in Columbia Way to take down the shed on Tuesday.

But when they discovered the volume of asbestos in the roof, they abandoned the work and left – leaving the dangerous material exposed to the family. The couple are now considering taking legal action.

Mrs Crisp, 25, said: “The workmen started ripping the shed down and all of a sudden I heard one of them shout ‘get out, get out’.

“They said they discovered two different kinds of asbestos and said the workmen wouldn’t be allowed back in there.

“We’ve been told not to go in the garden, but there’s also bits of the shed in a skip outside the front. Our health is being put at risk, but it could also be risking everyone who walks past the front of my house.”

She said the workmen also told her it was illegal to put asbestos waste into a skip, and she would be liable for it – even though they ordered the skip and put the waste in it.

Mrs Crisp said before the family moved into the property two years ago, Freebridge told them there was some concealed asbestos in the shed and asked whether they wanted it removing.

They declined, as they were hoping to renovate it, but less than six months later, they discovered it would cost more to revamp the old one than it would to buy a new one and contacted Freebridge to remove it.

After 18 months of repeated phone calls trying to get the housing provider to come and take it down, a specialist team finally arrived to complete the work on Tuesday.

Mrs Crisp believes that, as Freebridge was aware of some asbestos in the shed before they moved in, tests should have been carried out to check the extent of the material.

She said: “For two years our daughter has been playing at the bottom of the garden near the shed and all the while there has been the asbestos there. Her whole life could now be at risk as it takes years to appear.”

Yesterday, contractors put up red tape around the shed. The material found is now being tested.

Colin Davison, director of property at Freebridge said action had been taken promptly.

He said: “As soon as we were made aware of the issue when we visited Mr and Mrs Crisp’s home this week and our team reacted quickly and appropriately to ensure the safety of our tenants.

“We are aware that occasionally buildings, particularly old sheds, may contain asbestos.

“We visited Mr and Mrs Crisp as we had been asked to remove a very large shed from their garden. On inspection our operatives discovered asbestos.

“Our team are trained to be able to remove non licensed low grade asbestos, however they believed it to be a licensed form.

“We contacted our specialist contractor immediately, who visited the home, removed the damaged material and ensured that the area continued to be safe for the family.

“We take the health and safety of our tenants and employees extremely seriously, and we are pleased that we have been able to safely remove the material and make the area safe in a timely and secure manner.

“We will continue to work with Mr and Mrs Crisp to remove the remainder of the shed.”