MORE than £500,000 will be spent to remove asbestos in homes in Wombwell, Darfield and Royston as part of council plans to invest almost £3m in improving its housing stock.

At next Wednesday’s meeting, councillors will be asked to approve the budget made up of £1.5m for boosting fire safety and £600,000 for asbestos removal as well as other improvements.

Bosses have said that maintaining residents’ safety is their ‘number one priority’.

A total of 58 properties on the Aldham House Lane estate in Wombwell, 20 in the Darfield area and 40 in Royston will all see asbestos removed thanks to the funding.

There will also be improvements to three high-rise blocks of flats, with Albion House, Buckley House and Britannia House in the town centre all requiring a building health check to identify the work that is required.

Each survey will cost more than £4,000.

More than 160 fire doors at the three buildings will also need to be replaced at a cost of more than £2,000 each, meaning the council will have to spend almost £330,000 on the doors.

Work on dozens of independent living schemes will also take place to make sure all the fire safety precautions are up to scratch.

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A report states: “The works are required safety works resulting from fire risk assessments and asbestos surveys to ensure

“It should be noted that any urgent works identified as part of fire and asbestos surveys are completed immediately.

“These identified works relate to larger capital investments to be completed as part of a planned programme and / or are being proactively completed in response to new legislative requirements or recent surveys.

“As part of the building safety programme, Berneslai Homes has recently installed a number of fire safety measures to the council’s high rise accommodation and independent living schemes (three blocks of flat Albion, Britannia and Buckley House in the town centre and four independent living schemes) which includes new fire doors to the individual flats entrances, riser cupboard doors and sprinkler systems.

“Additionally, in-depth surveys are being carried out to identify works required to all council owned housing blocks, with a communal area, to ensure continued full compliance with new building and fire safety regulations.”

The council has confirmed that all tenants and leaseholders will be made aware of the plans and a consultation is set to take place.

“It is important that members and tenants are clear that the identified building and fire safety works will enhance fire safety within their homes and ensure full compliance with new legislative requirements,” the report added.

“It is not the case that there are any immediate concerns for fire safety in any of the identified properties as any urgent works will always be completed as a priority.”