Letter: Removal of asbestos poses extra issues
Re the front page headline RIP Futurist: Now new era:
I am disappointed that wisdom has not prevailed concerning the future of the Futurist theatre.
I’m sure enough resources (financial and otherwise) via fundraising (and Scarborough Council) could have been found to save this wonderful old theatre, if those in legislative positions (eg planning authorities) had really wanted it to happen (where there’s a will, there’s a way).
Having said that, and considering the council’s plans to demolish the theatre, there is one very serious issue that has been ignored in all the discussion regarding its ultimate destruction.
The issue I refer to is that of asbestos. It is a fact that the roof of the Futurist encompasses a large surface area of chrysotile asbestos roofing sheets. Although this highly dangerous (and cancer-causing) substance is now banned for use as a building material in this country (since 1999) it still remains in situations like the demolition scenario highlighted above, a very serious problem.
This, and the potential (bearing in mind the age of said building) for other sources of asbestos, within the internal structure of the building, is a source of concern.
It goes without saying that because of this asbestos (in the roof and elsewhere) only specialist companies in asbestos removal should be employed during any demolition procedures, in order to avoid contamination of adjacent properties, the nearby gardens and the seafront environment.