THE DISCOVERY of asbestos at the new T in the Park site could force the Scottish Government’s hand over calls for a full environmental assessment, objectors claim.
Scottish ministers are considering the need for a detailed investigation into the suitability of the 1,000-acre Strathallan Castle Estate as the venue for a festival which attracts 85,000 music fans.
Asbestos was found at the site recently and especially as promoters did not need to apply for planning permission to relocate the festival, some locals believe there should be a full examination of the estate.
The contamination has been confirmed by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa), who said: “Sepa has received a complaint regarding asbestos waste on the site of a former farm landfill at Strathallan Castle Estate in Perthshire.
“On inspection by Sepa Officers, asbestos and other waste was found at the site and the landowner has been asked to remove this, while ensuring any asbestos is taken to an appropriate facility for safe disposal.”
The spokesperson added: “Sepa officers will continue to monitor the site while the removal of this waste is ongoing.”
MSP Liz Smith said the discovery vindicated the views of local people who claimed a more rigorous survey of the site should have been carried out.
She said: “This latest concern, that suspected asbestos has been reported on the Strathallan Castle Estate, demonstrates the need for a full environmental impact assessment to take place ahead of any decision to move T in the Park,
“There have been growing questions surrounding the inadequate process which has been used by Perth and Kinross Council.
“The council clearly has to answer the growing number of concerns which the local community has.”
A council spokesperson said: “Strathallan Castle Estate is privately owned property and does not belong to Perth and Kinross Council.
“Furthermore, the council does not comment on political statements.”
Promoters DF Concerts and Events said the asbestos would be dealt with.
A spokesperson said: “We’ve been made aware of what appears to be asbestos cement from a corrugated roof which has been fly-tipped at the entrance to the Strathallan Castle Estate,
“As per SEPA’s comment, this is a matter that is already being resolved with the landowner and has no effect on our plans for the festival.
“DF always ensures the protection of the local environment is of the utmost importance.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We are currently considering a request to decide if an environmental impact assessment is needed at the proposed site at Strathallan Castle and a decision will be issued in due course.”