Joint statement from Stratford District Council and Stratford Town Trust

Press Release

Published on 5 August 2022
Archived on 5 September 2022

The opening of an area of the Lench Meadows, part of the Riverside Project, has been delayed following the discovery of fragments of materials that contain asbestos within the construction site area.

Previous ground investigations did not find any evidence of asbestos, however, the contractors remained alert to the possibility of a discovery due to the lack of regulation that existed around rubbish tips in the 1970s and earlier.

Whilst the discovery of this material is concerning, the situation has been reviewed by the geotechnical and environmental consultant and their report states "the current state of the site poses no significant risk to end users" as, in the main, fibres are bound up in the building material thus reducing the risk of airborne dispersion.

Based on the agreed method of working, as outlined as part of planning approval, the find triggered the discovery strategy and mitigation protocol, and the Environmental Health Officer has been informed. Following their advice and iin accordance with the mitigation protocol, a specialist geotechnical and environmental consultant attended site and a set of recommendations have been agreed with the EHO. We are working with our main contractor and other specialist organisations to deliver the recommendations without delay. They are:

  1. A specialist licenced asbestos removal contractor, has been instructed to carry out a clearance exercise of the affected area, using appropriate control measures and PPE.
  2. Any items suspected of containing asbestos will be removed from site and disposed of in accordance with the appropriate Health and Safety requirements.
  3. On completion of steps 1 and 2, a hand pick of the area will be carried out to remove glass and other debris.
  4. Affected areas will then be covered with a 75mm layer of clean material in the form of suitable soil, as advised by specialists.
  5. SDC will commission a final review by an independent specialist to ensure oversight of appropriate permanent mitigation.

The design for the project was developed in such a way that no foundations, deep excavation, or piling was carried out on the site of the old tip.

Part of the works to the northern section of the riverside project include work to create a 520 metre long accessible pathway. This is predominantly on the site of what was the haul road for the area to minimise the impact on the former landfill. The work in the flood plain, where the soil is alluvium clay, will create reed beds for water loving plants, birds and mammals and is outside of the former tip.  

The soil arising from the works has been used to create butterfly banks and mounds. These will be sown with a wildflower seed mix to create vibrant, long-lasting wildflower displays, which promote biodiversity and serve as an invaluable habitat for pollinating insects, birds, and small mammals.

Please be assured that the safety of the public remains our main concern. The new accessible bridges and riverside pathway remains open between Fisherman's carpark and town, and the new accessible pathway will open as soon as the recommendations have been completed satisfactorily.


Contact details

Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire,
CV37 6HX
Tel: 01789 267575

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Last updated on 05/08/2022