A WARNING has been given about the risk of asbestos in a property that has been unoccupied for almost 30 years.
Watlington parish councillor Jeremy Bell said he had been told that an asbestos survey had not been carried out on 33 High Street.
The property is owned by the Charlotte Coxe Trust, which the council is proposing to take over responsibility for from Oxfordshire County Council.
The councilÂ wants to obtain quotes to make the property habitable and asked a builder to look at it.
Cllr Bell said: “If there’s not an asbestos survey the duty of care is that you shouldn’t let any builders in, even to take a look.
“I would not let people go into a building which had been unoccupied for that length of time without undertaking a duty of care. Mesothelioma is a latent disease — it’s a big, big risk.”
Councillor Bob West said: “It’s only an issue if you start smashing thingsÂ up.”
Councillor Tony Williamson said: “I’ve been in and out of that building for the last 15 years.
“I suppose our feeling is we want to get something done, we want to get moving.”
The property and number 35, which is occupied by Watlington library, were left in 1949 as a legacy by Charlotte Coxe for the benefit of the people of Watlington.