Cement dust shower covers cars and angers residents

By Dan Santy 27/03 Updated: 27/03 14:11

Buy photos » Terry Chapman tries to clean the dust from the Cemex plant from his car. 13.012.036.rug.jg4

DUST from the town's Cemex plant has covered cars parked on nearby streets and has proved difficult to shift - to the anger of those affected.

The cement giant's Lawford Road plant has previously been accused by residents of causing dust showers, with leaked materials floating across the neighbourhood and settling and then drying on their property.

In this latest incident, a number of people on Briars Close and Townsend Lane awoke on Monday morning (March 26) to find what they believe to be cement dust dried onto their car windscreens.

Briars Close resident Terry Chapman said he was no fan of living near Cemex and added the dust showers had made him seriously consider leaving the area.

He told the Observer: "I came out this morning to find white dust on mine and my wife's car windscreens. I couldn't shift it and spoke to a guy down the road who had the same problem. It's so annoying.

"It's been quite a while since we've had it as bad as this. We do get a bit from time to time, but usually it's not enough to really notice.

"You could see the dust coming up from the plant. It looked like sheets of fog and it's quite unpleasant."

Mr Chapman has tried to scrub the muck away and has taken his car to be washed - but neither solution has been able to shift the material, which is thought to have leaked from the plant at some time during the weekend.

Both Cemex and the Environment Agency are investigating the dust shower and have taken away samples from the affected cars to be analysed.

Cemex community affairs manager Ian Southcott said: "We are aware of three complaints received in respect of dust being deposited on cars on Townsend Lane. We would confirm a minor problem overnight has resulted in a very localised release of dust.

"The matter is under control and we have been liaising with the Environment Agency who are satisfied that the problem is of a very localised and limited nature and will have affected only a very small number of households in the vicinity.

"Naturally, if the problems reported are confirmed as coming from the plant, we are extremely sorry for any inconvenience caused."

Buy photos» Cement dust on Terry Chapman's car. 13.012.036.rug.jg1

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