THE ENVIRONMENT Agency has launched an investigation after deadly brown asbestos was found on a former NHS site due to be used for 400 new homes.
Shepherd Homes is converting the site of the former Killingbeck Hospital in Leeds into a multi-million pound housing development.
The hospital was demolished eight years ago by demolition contractor James Gill of Leeds on behalf of NHS Estates and the site sold to Shepherd.
But as construction got under way, workers in the former hospital cellars discovered bags of material containing brown asbestos.
A Shepherd spokesman said: 'As soon as we discovered this we introduced suitable measures of isolation and protection.
'Work at the Killingbeck site has been unaffected by the discovery and it has remained open throughout.' Shepherd Homes added that there was no public health risk and the situation was being handled by specialists.
A spokesman for NHS Estates said: 'Following allegations that asbestos was found at the former Killingbeck Hospital site, NHS Estates investigated the procedures that were followed for the demolit ion of th is site.
'NHS Estates is satisfied that it carried out its duty of care over and above its obligations to ensure the safe and controlled demolition of the former Killingbeck Hospital site.' Demolition contractor James Gill was unavailable for comment.
Anybody with information on how the asbestos came to be there has been asked to contact the Environment Agency on 0800 807060.