Children seen playing near asbestos trailer left on Wakefield estate for two days

The trailer was left on the estate for two days.
The trailer was left on the estate for two days.

Children have been seen playing around an asbestos trailer, which was left abandoned in the middle of a housing estate.

Wakefield Council had the trailer removed on Tuesday afternoon, two days after it was first seen standing unsupervised on land off Beachill Drive in Havercroft.

The trailer was found on land off Beachill Drive, in Havercroft.

The trailer was found on land off Beachill Drive, in Havercroft.

The trailer first appeared as the local authority cleaned up after a group of travellers who'd been evicted from the land on Sunday.

But the asbestos was left behind after the operation, completely unattended.

Local man Gareth Osborne said that the health and lives of residents was put at risk, and that he'd seen children playing on the land around the trailer on Sunday evening.

Mr Osborne, 49, said: "Given the number of people who've died from asbestos in recent years and everything we know now, it's unbelievable.

Mr Osborne called for someone to be held accountable for the error.

Mr Osborne called for someone to be held accountable for the error.

"I'm so angry about it. The trailer wasn't cordoned off or anything. I don't know why it was just left there in the first place.

"I got on the phone to the council, and they said they were dealing with it, but I said "What about now?"

"I don't want to scare anyone, or say anyone should go to the doctors or the hospital, but there were kids in the trailer."

Mr Osborne suggested that leaving the asbestos on public land effectively amounted to fly-tipping.

He made further calls to the police and Environmental Health but said neither organisation was willing to take any further action.

The trailer was later moved onto the nearby footpath.

But Mr Osborne added: "There were members of the public walking past it.

"If the wind gets up, there's about 500 people who live in this area who could have been affected.

"It's been cleaned up 36 hours too late. Someone needs to be held accountable for this."

Glynn Humphries, Wakefield Council’s service director for environment and Streetscene, said: "The council was aware of a small amount of asbestos contained within a trailer that was left behind following the eviction of the illegal traveller encampment.

"The council’s contractors have removed this today and the site is now clear.”

Local Democracy Reporting Service