ONE thousand tonnes of asbestos-contaminated rubble has been cleared from a housing development site.

Waste experts wearing protective gear started removing the hardcore from the Chelford Homes plot, in Princess Street, Hindley, on Tuesday, and work was expected to take three days.

Concerned residents nearby were alerted by letter from contractors, Biffa, about the task.

The rubble was taken to the site to help with preparatory works in June, but it was found to be polluted and Biffa was called in to make sure it was disposed of safely.

The piles of waste, which had been covered by tarpaulins, were soaked with water to prevent fibres escaping.

They were then loaded on to sheeted tipper wagons and taken to one of the company's landfill facilities, licenced by the Environment Agency to accept the waste.

Biffa's general manager for remediation services, John Conway, said: "Local people are understandably anxious about this material, that's why we contacted them by letter to tell them what we were doing."

At every stage of the work, experts from OHS Limited, an accredited laboratory service, were monitoring the air to ensure fibres were not escaping.

All staff wore full protective equipment and were also continuously monitored to make sure they were not in any danger.