3 October 2019
Residents in Southall are preparing a legal challenge after becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of an ex-gasworks redevelopment. Managed by Berkeley Group, the site is known to contain dangerous compounds including asbestos, cyanide, naphthalene and benzene, a known carcinogenic.
Constant petrol-like smells, respiratory ailments, headaches and eye irritation have been reported since work began, but neither Ealing Council nor the Environment Agency have taken action despite numerous complaints.
Meena Hans is a Green Party campaigner supporting residents: “Local people feel like they are being poisoned. They are hurting, the dirty air is making their threats and eyes burn, but those in power just won’t listen. We desperately need work to stop.”
Siân Berry said: “I’m stunned at just how badly polluted the site is. After ten minutes people’s throats and noses are sore. Air toxicity tests are needed urgently but Ealing Council refuses to do this. The Green Party is working hard to get local residents’ concerns heard. It’s unbelievable that a Labour council won’t take action.”
In response to the local authority’s failure to act, the community has set up a campaign group – Clean Air For Southall and Hayes (CASH) - which is crowdfunding to launch their own legal case against Berkeley for public nuisance and breaches of environmental law. Both Ealing Council and the Environment Agency could also be subject to legal action. You can support their fight for clean air here.