'Toxic' site raises concerns

CONCERNED residents are blaming a toxic building site for making them sick.

CONCERNED residents are blaming a 'toxic' building site for making them sick.

More than 40 people living in part of Weston, attended a public meeting to voice fears about the site, which they say has dangerously high levels of arsenic.

They have launched a campaign to find out more about connected health risks after discovering a high number of neighbours have cancer.

The soil on the site in Atlantic Road South, where there are plans to build 23 flats, contains six times the recommended safety levels of arsenic according to a report carried out in 2005.

The document also reveals that soil taken from the site may not be accepted at landfills because of the chemicals.

Since 2005 a new report has not been commissioned and work to clear the site began two weeks ago after it had been left for a number of years.

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Julia and Martin Carpenter, whose house is directly next to the building work, organised the meeting on Tuesday.

Mrs Carpenter, aged 58, said: "We have lived here for seven years and every time work on the site starts up we have dust coming into our house.

"This is a real concern as we don't know what health problems the arsenic could be causing."

Jackie Davies, who owns the Stanger Montessori nursery where the meeting was held, said: "I am so concerned about the health risks this work poses. I believe there are an unusually high number of cancer cases nearby and it could be due to the work.

"I know at least seven people living very near the site who have been diagnosed with cancer."

Angela Sole, who has lived in Hamilton Road for 10 years, was diagnosed with cancer in her tonsils in June and since then it has moved to her bone marrow.

Jill Kadomtzeff, also of Hamilton Road, was also diagnosed with breast cancer in February.

Angela, aged 61, said: "I would really like to know whether any chemicals in the area could have possibly caused my cancer or could make it worse. It is a real worry."

Residents say they have tried to contact their North Somerset councillors but had no reply.

Weston town councillor Mark Canniford attended the meeting and has pledged his support to the residents.

He said: "If there are serious health concerns the council has a moral obligation to make sure those issues are addressed."

Residents resolved to find out more about the site and keep putting pressure on the council to give them some answers.

North Somerset councillor Chris Kimitri said he was unaware of residents concerns and he would contact his colleagues to look into the issue.

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