Southall, south-west London, is the location of an 88-acre gasworks site, which is in development by Berkeley Group (the same group which is behind the proposed development of Lea Bridge Gasworks).
Since development began 2 years ago, they have had to deal with the daily stench of chemicals, petrol and burning rubber, and excessive dust in the air.
They are suffering with worsening respiratory illnesses, and even cancer.
Their homes have been damaged by the large lorries and construction vehicles.
They cannot park their cars, as new residents to this “car-free” site are using the surrounding streets to park.
They have been treated appallingly by both their council and the developer.
In response, local residents have come together to form Clean Air for Southall and Hayes (CASH), to campaign for their right to clean air, and the right to live healthy, happy lives.
There have been numerous news reports (BBC, the Guardian, The Independent) about the site, which has led to the temporary suspension of development at the site.
Earlier this year, members from Community Before Construction (CBC) went to meet with CASH – Clean Air for Southall and Hayes. We met with several local members – including Angela Fonso, who has worked hard to mobilise other residents.
We walked around the site and listened to the many struggles and issues they’ve had since their ordeal began. It was horrific to hear of the impact to their health and quality of life, but also the ways they have been totally been disregarded and ignored by the council – who are meant to be working for the public, after all.
Although the circumstances for our meeting were not wholly positive, we came away from the visit feeling truly connected, strengthened and inspired. They showed us the power of a community coming together to fight for their future.
CASH have our full support, and we know that we have their full support. Together, our two groups have strength to be reckoned with.