Hampshire & Isle of Wight

HMS Daedalus site health concerns over rubble piles

Rubble piles at the former HMS Daedalus site Image copyright Kay Newsom
Image caption Piles of rubble remain at the site which residents say are causing dust to be blown into the homes

People living near a former Royal Navy airfield say they are worried about their health and are "constantly cleaning" their homes due to dust being blown from rubble at the site.

The former HMS Daedalus site in Lee-on-Solent is being transformed into a government "enterprise zone", including business space and new homes.

People living near the site have complained of sore throats and eyes.

The Homes and Communities Agency said a "dust management plan" was in place.

Resident Kay Newsom said: "Very fine powder is just being blown at us.

"I've had it all over my house, in my car - I've been constantly cleaning, and of course we are breathing all this in.

"Ever since the demolition started I've had a sore throat and itchy eyes."

'Asbestos concerns'

Nigel Craine, whose home backs on to the site, admitted the dust had been worse during demolition, which finished in April.

However, he said the rubble was still problematic depending on wind direction.

"What's concerning is we don't know what's in the piles or how long they are likely to remain on site," he added.

Gosport borough and Hampshire county councillor Graham Burgess is calling for the piles to be analysed.

"Residents are suffering and we want to know if there is anything like asbestos among the dust," he said.

Image copyright Kay Newsom
Image caption Demolition of the site finished in April

A Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) spokesman said the demolished material would be used as hardcore for the new development in a bid to "cut down on the number of lorry movements".

The HCA and contractors Natta have worked with the council to develop a plan "to cut down dust as much as possible", he said.

He added the site was regularly inspected by environmental health and planning officers.

In 2011, HMS Daedalus, which operated until 1996, was named as one of 24 "enterprise zones", designed to boost economic growth.

About 3,500 jobs are expected to be created at the Solent Enterprise Zone by 2026.

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