An asbestos find resulted in an additional five figure bill for a new-build council car park scheme, it has emerged.

Redcar and Cleveland Council said contaminants were found during excavation work for a new overflow car park opposite Cat Nab, Saltburn.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service asked the local authority what the contaminant was and was told fragments of white asbestos were discovered, which may have been associated with previous fly-tipping.

Recently published council decision papers show more than £27,000 was paid to remove and dispose of the waste, and provide quarried stone for the groundworks, which came from the budget for the scheme.

The Northern Echo: The overflow car park in Saltburn, work on which uncovered asbestos fragmentsThe overflow car park in Saltburn, work on which uncovered asbestos fragments (Image: RCBC)

Land on which the car park has been constructed, next to a pumping station used by Northumbrian Water, had been walked over for many years, according to a local councillor.

A birdsmouth fence had previously been erected to prevent unauthorised car parking at the site.

The council played down any potential health risks, stating that the asbestos identified had been within a well bound composite bitumen material.

A spokesman said: “Initial excavation works at the Cat Nab Overflow car park were carried out by the council’s contaminated works contractor, due to previous surveys finding fragments of asbestos. 

“During this entire dig, no asbestos was discovered. 

“Following this, deeper excavations were then carried out at the north of the site where three small fragments of white asbestos were found. 

“These were isolated, bagged and removed by a specialist company, reducing the risk to the public.”

He added: “It is difficult to determine how this material came to be present on site, but it is believed it could be due to fly-tipping due to the presence of other materials.”

The 25 space car park project, which has now been completed and sits between Saltburn Bank and the A174, was given planning permission by councillors in March last year.

Saltburn councillor Philip Thomson said he had been trying to get land beside the pumping station used for additional car parking for about nine years.

He confirmed the council had addressed any potential health concerns as a result of the subsequent remedial work.

Cllr Thomson said: “It was derelict land where buildings had originally been.

“When a survey was undertaken there were pockets of contamination found which I think was asbestos.


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“I was concerned that they had been allowing people to walk over there for a good number of years, although a fence was put up.

“Since then the pockets of contamination have been removed in the remedial work carried out.”

So called chrysotile, or white asbestos, was commonly used as an insulation in buildings, boilers and pipes, car brakes and floor tiles, until its use was outlawed in 1999, joining the more hazardous blue and brown types of the material on a banned list.

Asbestos can become dangerous when damaged, releasing smaller fibres that can be breathed in, and is considered a cancer risk.