14 March 2019

Latest on clean up operation in Adlington

Following the fire at the Fairport factory off Market Street, Adlington, on Sunday night, we've been working with the site owners to organise the clean up.​​

The contractor cleaning up the fire debris on behalf of the site owner has put together a map of the four zone sthey will be concentrating on. The clean-up could take around four weeks in total - this is an estimate based on the knowledge they have gained from surveying the site.

The day before your street is due to be checked you will receive a note through the door. The work will continue over the weekend and we will update the timescales as the clean-up progresses.

You can see the four zones on the map here - the contractor will have a team working in each zone.

You will notice that the workers will be in boiler suits, with face masks, and will be hoovering up the debris. There is no need to be alarmed by their appearance - they are wearing the equipment as a precaution because they will be disturbing the debris as they clear it. The asbestos debris will not cause any harm if it is left alone.​

​*****Please note we have received a number of requests asking for a more detailed timetable of the clean up work or for the work to be prioritised in certain areas. We are not able to do this because:

(a) The time taken to clean an area can vary from street to street - we will give people notice the day before
(b) We want the teams to work as efficiently as possible - if the crews move about from area to area then it will take longer to complete the clean up.

Thank you for your patience and co-operation.

Health advice from Public Health England
During the fire at Adlington which was dealt with by Lancashire Fire Service, local residents were advised to keep their windows and doors closed and to stay indoors as a precautionary measure, while the fire continued.
The site involved in this fire had an asbestos-cement cladding. During fires, asbestos containing materials may become damaged and depending on the ferocity of the fire, fragments of asbestos containing materials can be spread over a wide area. It is possible that asbestos containing material may have been deposited in ash or debris in the vicinity of the industrial site. However, this is of no significant health concern as asbestos fibres are held tightly within the body of cement products, such as corrugated roofs, and consequently the fibres are not readily released into the air during a fire. Therefore it is important to realise that the risks to health are low and there is unlikely to be any significant exposure to asbestos following fires involving materials containing asbestos.
While there is no direct evidence of long-term health risks from fires involving asbestos containing materials it is sensible that any asbestos containing debris is removed to minimise any potential exposure. If you were advised to vacate your property for a time during the fire, this will have been precautionary due to your close proximity to the fire or due to the presence of gas cylinders and their potential to explode, not because of any hazards from asbestos.
Chorley Council has worked with the site owner and has arranged for clean-up of asbestos containing materials spread by the fire which may have fallen as ash and debris over the surrounding area and been deposited on nearby properties, gardens and streets. The area affected is immediately north and east of the site, including Fairview, the Grove area, and Heath Charnock.

If you find ash or debris from the fire on your property, you are advised to leave it alone and to contact the local authority on 01257 515151 or by email to contact@chorley.gov.uk  so that clean-up can be arranged. If there is evidence of debris in your garden avoid disturbing the material, for example do not mow the lawn until it has been cleared up and removed. 

Air monitoring has been undertaken and no airborne asbestos has been identified. Air monitoring will continue during the clean-up process to ensure the clean-up is being done efficiently.
If it is absolutely necessary for you to remove debris yourself (e.g. from a car windscreen) first dampen down the debris using water, then either gently flush away small particles to the drain or, wearing protective gloves to prevent scratches, pick up larger pieces carefully and place them within two plastic bags, one within the other (double bag), seal the bags and contact the Council by email to arrange for the contractor to collect. Do not sweep up or vacuum debris as this could create airborne dust.
If anybody came into contact with the smoke plume this may have caused them to have had breathing difficulties, watery eyes, coughing and a sore throat. If residents experience any symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, watery eyes or cough following the fire please contact your GP.
If you have any questions please contact us by email on contact@chorley.gov.uk.

Frequently Asked Questions

We have received a number of contacts from concerned residents and would like to ensure that all residents have the opportunity to receive a response to what are the most frequently asked questions in relation to the clean –up. 

We appreciate and share the ongoing frustration that residents in the area are experiencing and can assure you that the Council is doing everything in its powers to ensure the matter is resolved.  

1. Can the Council’s Streetscene and sweepers be used to clean the public areas, such as the roadway and paths to the Railway Station? 

The Council do not have the appropriate equipment to undertake this specialist work. It is important that the specialist contractor with the correctly filtered equipment and protective clothing undertake this activity.

2. Why is the clean up taking so long? 

The contractor has been appointed by the Insurance Company to carry out the clean-up in accordance with a plan, based on 4 zones. The contractor is working to the specifications provided by the Insurance Company, including the resources committed to the clean-up. This is a time consuming process and the Council is being assured that the clean-up is progressing in accordance with the plan.

3. When will my property be cleaned up? 

The Contractor is unable to provide a medium term plan for the clean-up operation. They are working through the zones, which will all be cleaned. However, due to the unknown time required for each property they are only able to provide one or two days notification by calling card to individual properties.

4. What should residents do if their area or property still has visible debris?

Where possible residents should try to avoid walking debris into their houses, so removing shoes at the door is the best advice to prevent any entrained fragments of debris being re-deposited.

5. What action has the Council done to ensure this matter is being dealt with? 

The Council served Statutory Notices on both the owner of the site, Fairport Properties Ltd, and the occupier, Heal and Son Ltd, requiring the off site clean-up to be completed within a reasonable timeframe, which was proposed by the specialist contractor. 

The companies do have an option to appeal the requirements of the notice and Fairport Properties Ltd has lodged an appeal. In such circumstances it is for the Courts to determine the appeal and uphold, vary or quash the notice as they see fit. The Company may apply for the costs of the clean-up to be borne by the Council and therefore the local tax payer.

The Council is currently communicating with Fairport Properties Ltd and their insurer, AIG, thorough their solicitors.
If the notice is not complied with or sufficient progress made for compliance by 25 March 2019, the Council can step in to ensure the works are completed in default of the requirements of the notice. In this case the Council would need to instruct the contractor and take action to recover the costs incurred from those the notice has been served on.

At this time the Insurance Company and Fairport Properties have advised that they intend to comply with the notice within the timeframes specified. 

6. What will happen with the fire damaged building?

The building is due to be demolished; the exact timescales for this have not been confirmed.  The area has been decontaminated to prevent there being further debris blown form the site. 
Prior to any demolition the council will receive a Section 80 (Building Act 1984) from the contractor this involves prior notification to all residents around the curtilage of the building to inform them the intent to demolish the proposed building. Statutory notification is sent to Fire Brigade, H & S and Utility Providers.
Following the completion of a section 80 the council will issue a Section 81 to the contractor in relation to the Section 80 notification under The Building Act 1984.