Concerns over plan to build homes on land contaminated with asbestos

Up to 300 new homes could be built on the site of a former power station – on land which is heavily contaminated with asbestos.

Local protester Joanne Bell said 600 tonnes of asbestos had been left on the site of the East Yelland Power Station, on the Taw-Torridge estuary, next to the Tarka Trail in North Devon.

She said the scheme, for 280 dwellings plus commercial and community space, would ruin the Tarka Trail and the estuary. Opponents of the development are holding a protest meeting on Thursday. She said:

“Yelland Action Group and others in North Devon have mounted a strong campaign to stop all development along our Taw/Torridge estuary – which our MP and all political parties have supported.”

Mrs Bell said this latest development, alongside an earlier scheme for 130 homes, “is going to ruin the estuary”.

“Almost unbelievably, finally the latest scheme has been lodged with North Devon Council for a massive housing estate on the banks of our precious estuary. I am unsure just how trendy and modern it is to buy a very expensive three-storey home sitting on buried asbestos on unstable land on an estuary and in a flood zone.”

She said that removing the asbestos would be expensive, and questioned whether it would happen. The land is to be built up three metres before the housing is put up, she said, meaning that the estate would be highly visible.

Fremington Parish Council is holding a public meeting on Monday, April 25 at 6.30pm at the Parish Hall.

“I am informed that the owners of this asbestos site – Dick Huxtable and Paul Jury – have been invited and I sincerely hope they will have to courtesy to attend.”

The community is holding a protest meeting on Thursday, April 14, at 11am along the Tarka Trail adjacent to the site.