Poole beach hut owners have been asked to clear out their belongings before repairs next week which could disturb asbestos.
According to Poole Council, a number of problems with “water penetration” have been recorded at 32 beach huts located by Flaghead Chine. The Council has informed beach hut tenants that in accordance with their Asbestos Management Policy they intend to replace the ceiling boarding and floor tiles.
This has come as a shock for beach hut tenant Heather Hartwell. “I’m concerned we’ve only just found out about the asbestos now they need to do repairs,” she said. “A lot of my really young family members use the beach hut and I hate to think of the risks it has for them.”
A Poole Beaches Team spokesperson said, “The works will commence next Tuesday, two huts a day will be stripped of ceiling tiles and floors. The only risk is the huts will remain empty until the water issues are resolved then reinstatement will begin.”
“I’m concerned we’ve only just found out about the asbestos” – Heather Hartwell, beach hut tenant
Mrs Hartwell added, “The beach hut costs approximately £1,400 per year so a little refund would be nice!”
The Government’s Health and Safety Executive stated that when asbestos fibres are inhaled, they can cause serious diseases which are responsible for around 4,500 deaths a year, such as lung cancer. However, as long as the asbestos is not damaged it won’t be a risk, which Poole Council states in a letter addressed to the affected beach hut owners.
Poole Beaches Team say that each block on average will take one week to remove floor and ceiling tiles and a further week to reinstate both, but this is subject to weather conditions.