Angry residents have slammed “ridiculous” plans to build an asbestos storage site just yards from two primary schools and a nursery.
Dozens of people have complained about the proposals to create the facility where open land currently stands in Gayton Road, in the Sulgrave area of Washington.
If given approval, concrete barriers would be put up to house three skips containing the asbestos, while CCTV would also be installed.
Some have claimed the plans are “irresponsible” and could cause a health risk for young children with the site close to Usworth Colliery Primary School and its nursery, Usworth Grange Primary School and residential areas.
The proposal has been put forward by agent Identity Consult, which is based near the River Wear in Sunderland’s Quay West Business Village near Wessington Way.
It has been submitted on behalf of South Tyneside asbestos specialist, Nichol Associates, which is based in Hebburn.
To even consider a waste site of this nature so close to a school and surrounding villages is in my opinion is irresponsible to say the least.Stephen Jennings
Sunderland City Council’s website has been inundated with comments blasting the application.
Joanne Bainbridge, of Concord, said: “As a parent with two children who attend Usworth Colliery Primary School, I am extremely concerned about this application for change of use to be a storage area for asbestos waste as I personally feel that a concrete barrier walls and CCTV installation will not prevent the possibility of any asbestos leaking from the skips into either the air or land close to the school which would potentially affect not only my two children but the rest of the school pupils and staff.
“I would therefore like to have noted that I am strongly objecting this application on the grounds that this could have the potential to cause serious health risks.”
Stephen Jennings, of Sulgrave, wrote: “To even consider a waste site of this nature so close to a school and surrounding villages is in my opinion is irresponsible to say the least.
“We have all heard of the dangers of asbestos, in a worse case scenario there is a breach of health and safety in the coming years and the children in the near by schools will have to live with the respiratory problems for the rest of their lives.”
Kelly Goodare, of Newington Court, said: “This cannot be allowed to happen, how ridiculous, near a school. Take it elsewhere.”
A neighbour consultation period over the plans ends on September 1, with a decision over whether to grant the application expected to be made in November.
Washington’s Coun John Kelly, said he couldn’t comment until he saw the full application and the owner of Nichol Associates was unavailable to comment.
A spokesman for Sunderland City Council, said: “As with all planning applications, interested parties have the opportunity to comment and make representations.
“The application will be considered in due course by the development control committee for Hetton, Houghton and Washington.”
No-one from Nichol Associates was available for comment.