Earlier in 2019, Amiante asbestos contractors were engaged to advise on the risk management strategy for hazardous materials across a 25-hectare conservation site on the south coast near Portsmouth. The site contained listed buildings dating back to the 1750s, and we collaborated with other specialist environmentalists to undertake a series of surveys of the site, as well as the removal of some high hazard asbestos elements under licence. The site itself will take several years to bring back to its former glory, but we are proud of the part Amiante played in ensuring that modern remediation practices were able to be deployed with sympathy and care so as to ensure the continued integrity of the site.
Tension can arise between the conservation of buildings and that of the risk aspects of managing highly hazardous materials like asbestos. It often perceived that intervention to maintain a mitigated risk environment damages heritage values. There are two statutory elements at work here, and they do need to be considered in the round, and it should not be assumed that the natural heritage requirements will prevail over other compliance. Both requirements, culture and safety should be fully understood, and both aspects respected equally. Collaboration and an understanding of all the risks are paramount.