Published: 12:00, 15 June 2014 |
Updated: 08:52, 16 June 2014
Work on The Panorama in Ashford has ground to a halt after asbestos was discovered on site.
Contractors came across the harmful material on Thursday in the Park Street development when tearing down a wall.
Developers Dukelease - who bought the building in 2008 - say the Health and Safety Executive were called in immediately and recommended that the site close for a week while further checks are carried out.
David O’Neil, development director at Dukelease said: “Asbestos was discovered at The Panorama during construction work when an area behind an existing wall was stripped back for renovation.
“Due to the building’s age, it is not unusual that asbestos would be present.
“Upon discovery we took immediate action to deal with it sensibly.
“We immediately notified the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) who visited the site on Thursday, June 12 and recommended that the site is closed for one week while testing is carried out to ensure there is no other contamination."
Asbestos is a fire resistant material, which is why it was used for roofing, flooring, and heat insulation as late as the 1970s, before the cancer-causing effects of inhaling the fibres were fully known.
The material was banned in the UK by 1999.
The renovation of The Panorama - formally known as Charter House - began in May last year.
When complete the block will comprise of 232 one- and two-bedroom apartments over nine floors.
This includes 14 penthouse suites and eight duplex penthouses.
"We took immediate action to deal with it sensibly" - David O’Neil
Bosses insist that the week’s delay will not impact on the project’s completion date - which is scheduled for August this year.
Mr O’Neil added: “Dukelease is a responsible developer and we are fully co-operating with the HSE to resolve this in the best possible way.
“There should be no delay in the overall construction programme for the delivery of The Panorama.”
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
Your No1 guide to getting married in Kent. From dresses to discos and venues to veils, we've got everything you could possibly need for your big day
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating!
PLUS, register for free!.
Read our pick of the best holiday destinations. Whether its a weekend break, or something a little bit longer, we have reviewed a wide range of holidays.