Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Local residents major concerns about the NIMR demolition

A local resident has contacted the Better Mill Hill Team with concerns about the current demolition works at the National Institute for Medical Research. As a local resident and business owner, who has livestock, he was most concerned when a series of loud explosions disturbed his business. Many of the local animals and residents were terrified and he was concerned that there may be a terrorist attack or accident at the site. Enquiries to the police and council uncovered the fact that the Special Boat Service were conducting a training exercise at the building.

The gentleman in question is also concerned about the risk of contamination from asbestos fallout and other harmful pathogens that may have been present on the site. He contacted the developers at Barratts and sent the following letter

In regard to any meeting with your site manager, we are are now several weeks into the process, nearly a month since the multiple explosions that rocked our business.  Having lived and worked in close proximity to the NIMR for the past 59 years, my concern is the manner in which the demolition is being carried out, not Barratt's plans for it's future. We have been given similar "assurances" by the Crick Institute helping us understand the responsibilities of the MRCT in respect of pathogens,low level radiation and chemical waste pits,however,the dust emanating from your site remains solely Barratt's responsibility. Can we be assured that the dust emanating from your site poses us no health threat, particularity in respect of Asbestos.? At this stage ,a simple "yes" would be very much welcomed. For the record, there was no sign of any damping down on the site's crushing machine nor indeed any of the other demolition machines on the Burtonhole Lane side of the site as of 9.15 a.m today.  The weekend's record high temperatures would have done nothing but help exacerbated the issue of dust. Regarding any potential damage to our livestock, I ask again,were Barratts aware in advance of the multiple live explosions carried out on their site by the SBS (Special Boat Services)? If so, why did they neglect to inform any of their immediate neighbors in advance , in order to allow us to mitigate any distress to us, our customers and indeed, livestock? The explosions were heard from the other side of the Totteridge Valley from nearly a mile away, we were within approximately 100 meters of the last of them.. The works continue apace, the wind is gusting and forecast to become stronger throughout the week; all of the local schools have now returned from the Easter holidays. 
A response was received from Barratts which has been passed to us. Here is what Barratts have said

Regarding the explosions on site, we were not informed in advance that these were taking place. Once made aware, however, our site team instructed the principle contractor, which is leading on the demolition work, to cease immediately, and liaised with the local authority and Environmental Health Officers on the day to explain the reasoning behind the activity. We can assure you that such an event will not happen again.
I hope this helps to alleviate your concerns, particularly with regards to dust.
Please accept our assurance that the level of dust emanating from our site poses no risk to health particularly with regard to asbestos. All notifiable asbestos removal for the site has been completed by a licensed contractor in line with current legislation and we have received asbestos clearance certificates for all buildings.
We know that many residents in Mill Hill have been concerned with aspects of the demolition. It does seem rather strange that the SBS can turn up and conduct training exercises which involves large explosions without the developers being made aware of what is going on. It does not build confidence that the demolition is being properly managed and controlled by the company. If Barratts were only made aware by the loud bangs at the site, what else is going on that they are unaware of.

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