Asbestos scare at allotments

AN allotment site in a north Northumberland village has been fenced off after fears that the ground is contaminated with asbestos.

The plots at Mouldshaugh Lane in Felton have only recently been allocated to residents in the village and neighbouring West Thirston after the new site was developed by the parish council.

But a gardener raised the alarm after disturbing what is believed to be asbestos when digging at the site.

Felton Parish Council, as the leaseholder of the land, was contacted by the concerned resident.

Northumberland County Council, which owns the land, was also called in and staff have fenced off the area to make it secure and are urging members of the public, including allotment holders, not to attempt to enter it until further notice.

A specialist contractor was due on site yesterday to begin an investigation into the contamination and carry out a risk assessment.

The county council will then take steps to protect public safety which will then allow the site to be brought back into use.