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Village worries over 'toxic' ash

By helen williams, Hoyland Reporter Friday 27th June 2014

ELSECAR residents say plans to dig out 'toxic coal ash' in the heart of the village could cause lethal health problems from cancer to birth defects.

But the man behind the scheme says they are "scaremongering" and the project is simply a small scale reclamation of land much like other old industrial sites.

Villagers claim the scheme for Hill Street will create airborne toxic dust containing arsenic, lead and mercury and could result in problems like heart and lung disease and impaired bone growth in children.

They say the medical information is from a 2010 report, Coal Ash, issued by Physicians for Social Responsibility and Earth Justice.

Applicant Mario Monfredi wants to extract 40,000 cubic metres of coal ash from the site between the Fitzwilliam Arms pub and Elsecar train station. The works would last a year and the land would then be filled up with "inert waste" - crushed brick and concrete.


The scheme is expected before Barnsley Council's planning board in September.


** The full story is in the Barnsley Chronicle, dated June 27. **

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Posted by Sally Ann I Fri 27th Jun 2014 at 11:03pm

The residents concerns are legitimate, having researched the evidence base to find consistent correlations between coal ash and health risks, they are understandably raising awareness to their neighbours to ensure every person who lives in the locality has the ability to make an informed decisions regarding this alarming planning application; which would pose significant risks to their health - let alone their properties (both in structural capacities and financial losses). I do not see the applicant, nor the company cited in this article, putting forth any scientific evidence to prove this application does not pose health risks. Yet more scientific research is being brought forward each day within the community to highlight the serious risks that this application poses to every resident's health. One regional employee of a legal firm commented his astonishment at seeing this application even reaching this stage considering the well known health problems associated with coal ash.

In an area with high incidence of lung diseases correlated to resident's previous exposure to coal dust and coal ash many of us are baffled at why, when voicing our concerns, we are accused of scare-mongering when in reality we are simply trying to protect our families and friends.

Posted by Maureen Burgin I Mon 30th Jun 2014 at 5:07pm

Besides it being a serious health hazard, Where is the waste going too ? I presume it will be removed in lorries ? Which route will these lorries take ? We live on Church Street Elsecar which could be a route !!!!!!!!! The street is already very busy and has parking problems.

Posted by Fishcake I Mon 30th Jun 2014 at 5:07pm

Is there a Petition in place to stop this going ahead?

Posted by Sarah Jane I Mon 30th Jun 2014 at 10:54pm

Yes there is a petition in place; you can find it at 38degrees dot org dot uk (I've tried to upload the link but this comments box doesn't seem to like link; then simply search for: 'help us save our village from toxic coal ash'.

You can then share it by email or any online method you choose. Thank you for your support.

Posted by k wilson I Tue 15th Jul 2014 at 7:36pm

having just seen this article, this is the first I have heard about it. just one question, what would be the purpose of digging out this toxic coal ash, and then replacing it with other waste? No doubt it would be for financial gains, but financial gains at what cost? in my life I cannot recall any industry on that site, which would suggest that the toxic coal dust has been on the site for many years, undisturbed, causing no problems to anyone. so why disturb it now, and put peoples health at risk.

And why have so few people heard about this

Posted by Carlos I Fri 15th Aug 2014 at 1:34pm

All jobs worths the lot of you

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