Eurovia seeks to reassure residents over asbestos find

Eurovia say they plan to improve the current situation for all.


After OnTheWight broke the news on Sunday lunchtime that asbestos had been found at the proposed asphalt plant site at Medina Wharf, we got in touch with Eurovia for a response.

This afternoon (Wednesday) we received a reply from the company.

David Binding, Eurovia Commercial Director, said: “We totally understand people’s concerns and would like to reassure everyone that we are taking all possible steps to address this issue. It is not unusual to find materials such as asbestos on old landfill sites and the extensive site investigations which we have now completed confirm the presence of small quantities of asbestos in the upper layers and on the surface.”

Experienced in best practice
He went on to say, “We have vast experience dealing with materials such as asbestos and not only comply with all legislation, but also apply construction and industry best practice at all times.

“Our plan is to improve the current situation for all, including local residents, the environment and the wildlife at this brownfield development site by covering the area with an impervious hard surface.”

Imported material for bunds
In response to those concerned that the bunds created around the site would be created with harmful material, he said, “In addition, the bunds around the site will be constructed from imported materials so as not to disturb the landfill materials.”

Image: Asbestos Testing under CC BY 2.0

Wednesday, 10th April, 2013 3:50pm



Filed under: Cowes, East Cowes, Green Issues, Isle of Wight News, Newport, Top story

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Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.


  1. An expected response from someone who doesn’t want to give up a slice of the £250m they’ve just received to an existing supplier who can provide asphalt here on the Island.

  2. Best practice! they did not even bother to test for it first time around. I did not realise that bulls#*t was an impervious hard surface.

  3. “It is not unusual to find materials such as asbestos on old landfill sites”

    So if they were such experts and know that asbestos is common, then why not test for it to begin with? Unless, of course, they wanted to rush it through planning and knew it would contain some asbestos.

    Don’t worry though, now they know it was there they are going to improve it for local residents, by building a large asphalt plant that WON’T run during the night, despite Island Roads claiming that large works will be carried out during the night.

    Glad we are in competent hands.

  4. Black Dog

    10.Apr.2013 4:53pm

    Best Practice? What happened when their employee died on one of their sites? Were they not found guilty of negligence/malpractice and not Best Practice?

    The comments from David Binding are ridiculous as it appears that he has not read the report that says – as a former land fill site they would expect to find more Asbestos along with other dangerous materials (already identified).

    If, as Mr Binding says, it is on the surface then an immediate enforcement order must be issued to the owners to cap the area to protect public health, in addition launch a public screening programme. People need to understand just how dangerous ONE ASBESTOS SPORE is, let alone some asbestos. Patronising or what Mr Binding you are not dealing with idiots?

    Perhaps Mr Binding and his fellow directors (as a show of good faith in their comments about safety) buy some of the blighted houses and move in permanently for at least the duration of the contract.

    Eurovia pull out now and protect yourself from expensive and lengthy legal action.

    If you are unable to fulfill your contractual obligations to the Isle of Wight I suggest you negotiate an EXIT as soon as possible.

    Message to the Isle of Wight Council If this gets the green light there will be a Judicial Review which will be expensive for you and will ultimately result in senior job losses. This site is unsafe and not fit for purpose.

    Liability – Who would be liable for any cases of Asbestosis? Would it be The land owners, Eurovia, the Council? ~If this goes ahead indemnities should and would be sought to protect residents and visitors alike.

    Where is the Boy Blunder now? Why has he not made any of his famous “Scaremongering speeches”? Why has he not made political mileage by halting (permanently) this application? Is he afraid of what Eurovia will reveal?

    Come on David your silence on this matter is deafening.

  5. Eurovia have proved themselves to be a deceitful company at best..David Binding thinks that by saying that; “Our plan is to improve the current situation for all, including local residents,etc..”. Is he aware that his dear company wants to site a stinking, polluting, noisy,asphalt plant on this already unsuitable site? How the hell is that going to improve the lives of local residents? It is going to blight the lives and the health of local people,quite the opposite to what Eurovia claims to be their “aim”… Bad business from a bad company!

  6. I do not believe it

    10.Apr.2013 5:46pm

    “Eurovia’s Commercial Director David Binding” – yet another new Eurovia person comes on the scene!

    What has happened to the previous Eurovia frontmen we have had the pleasure of listening to with their corporate devious machinations?

    I reckon that the Isle of Wight project has become such a migrane inducing issue that the buck is being shoved around the company’s boardroom table like a ticking bomb.

  7. Who will be around in two or more years time to bear the blame?

    Many of those involved in agreeing the PFI contract have already left the scene, most of the IWC delegated decision-makers on PFI are not standing in the next election and IWC has transferred total responsibility to Island Roads Ltd – a private company with its HQ in Portsmouth not on the Island. Already shoulders are being coated with Teflon for the future!

    BTW- is Island Roads linked to a network of investment companies i.e. Island Roads Investment Ltd and Island Roads Investment 2 Ltd (both private companies with a London HQ? According to Companies House the latter company has a mortgage charge placed against it but it is not possible to find out what until the accounts are submitted by 6 may 2013.

    As to current assurances and given that the average length of time a “Corporate Seagull” stays in a company is about two years, any such birds in the private companies involved will have flown long before any ordure hits the rotating shiny blades.

    Caveat emptor!

  8. woodworker

    10.Apr.2013 8:16pm

    “confirm the presence of small quantities of asbestos in the upper layers and on the surface.”confirm the presence of small quantities of asbestos in the upper layers and on the surface.”

    From the report it seems this is simply untrue. The report states that there were “frequent” layers of material including asbestos, as shown below. This does not suggest “small quantities of asbestos in the upper layers and on the surface”, but rather frequent occurrences of asbestos and other building materials throughout the landfill layer, but unsurprisingly no trace in the underlying strata. The “Upper Layers” referred to by Eurovia presumbly refer to the landfill layers, which the report states are between 4 and 10 metres thick, or up to 30 ft.

    The Eurovia PR machine seems to be putting the best possible spin on the report and hoping that no-one will actually bother to read it.

    From the report:
    All boreholes were drilled through the waste of the underlying landfill, which varied in thickness from approximately 4.0m in the southwest to approximately 10.8m in the northeast. The landfill predominantly comprised a gravelly clay matrix with bands of sandy ash and clinker
    gravel with frequent anthropogenic inclusions including concrete, brick, plastic sheeting, asbestos cement sheeting, timber, glass and metal

  9. DarwinsDisciple

    11.Apr.2013 11:39am

    What a poor response by this Company. They’ve just raised up the height of the proposed monstrosity for us all to see. That’s the problem with reacting and not doing a proper job in the first place.

    Goodwill is clearly not an issue with these boys.

  10. retiredhack

    11.Apr.2013 2:23pm

    This is a paragraph from Andrew Turner’s letter to Eurovia dated March 7th this year. As far as I know it hasn’t been answered.

    “My staff member who attended your information event was told there would be ‘financial penalties’ if asphalt were to be shipped across the Solent due to enviromnental constraints in the PFI contract. Can you please confirm that any financial penalties incurred will not be passed on to local council taxpayers (or indeed taxpayers in general) in the form of increased payments to Vinci Ringway, Eurovia or any related company if you decide to ship asphalt across from the mainland?”

    Getting an answer to this question is absolutely pivotal to the whole argument for the following reasons:

    1. The IW Council has insisted throughout that the PFI contract and Eurovia’s planning application are entirely separate. It used this assertion to head off an attempt by independent councillor Chris Welsford to expose the fact that one arm of the IWC (environmental health) was recommending refusal of planning consent for the asphalt plant while, at the same time, Full Council was being asked to ratify the PFI contract, without being told what environmental health were saying. If there is, in fact, a contractual link between the two, then the PFI contract should clearly not have been agreed without the asphalt arrangements being nailed down.

    2. More importantly, any linkage between IWC payments to the contractor, on the one hand, and the outcome of the Cowes planning application, on the other hand, would create a clear danger of moral hazard from the IWC’s point of view. In simple terms, any such link would mean it would be to the IWC’s financial advantage to grant planning consent, because the alternative would be an increase in payments due to Eurovia or its subsidiaries. It would introduce a completely improper element into the planning process. And if the asphalt plant is as crucial to Eurovia’s plans as Eurovia (as opposed to the IWC) says it is, then disruption to the PFI project, if the planning application fails, would represent an aditional, political, risk, to the IWC leadership which, once again, might interfere in the proper discharge of its planning function.

    Eurovia and the IWC both need to understand that folks aren’t daft, and that these questions won’t go away simply by them refusing at address them. I would hope that Andrew Turner, along with the rest of us, will continue to demand answers. It surely can’t be the case, can it, that the IWC, with all its expensive lawyers and consultants, has got itself into a position where it has to allow this project to go ahead, and to hell with public safety, if it is to avoid yet more costs being heaped upon itself and, inevitably, on all of us who use council services?

    • downwind resident

      11.Apr.2013 3:36pm

      Why haven’t Eurovia answered Mr Turner’s pertinent question regarding financial penalties?
      A clear answer from Eurovia would obviate the possibility of people inferring what might be a completely false assumption about the relevance of the proposed asphalt plant at Medina Wharf to the performance of the PFI.
      Similarly, if as Mr Binding says Eurovia expected to find asbestos on a landfill site,
      why did they plan to dig it all up and build a bund with the contaminated spoil without contemplating the consequences to public health?
      Could it be that this multi billion pound foreign company is simply unable to make coherent decisions no matter what the subject?

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