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Air monitoring for ‘Britain’s most notorious estate’

October 1, 2015

Pre-demolition and air monitoring works finally begin for Aylesbury

Working with Notting Hill Housing, our team of professional asbestos surveyors are helping to rejuvenate the Aylesbury Estate in South East London. Pennington Choices asbestos team are carrying out asbestos air monitoring works on what was once described as ‘Britain’s most notorious estate’ according to The Times newspaper.

air monitoring and pre-demolition works

The team of asbestos analysts are on site to deliver a number of clearances and provide all other air monitoring requirements by checking for leaks within each property and running personal tests on the asbestos removal contractors. Asbestos related deaths are currently at a record-high in the United Kingdom –Pennington Choices aims to ensure no contractor or tenant is exposed to asbestos.

Georgina Bond, Pennington Choices’ Asbestos Project Manager, explained: “there are still tenants living on the estate so it is important that the background ambient air is tested to make sure the redevelopment continue safely during the asbestos removal works”.


The redevelopment works have been fifteen years in the planning as discussions to redevelop the community began as far back as the new millennium. Councillor Mark Williams explained the development, now successfully in its second phase,  was needed to give residents an improved quality of life;

“our residents need better quality affordable homes with more open green space and better community facilities”.


The large-scale 3,900 home estate has infamously attracted attention from then Prime Minister Tony Blair in his opening speech as an example of a community in crisis. Built in the 1960s and expanded on until the mid 1970s, Aylesbury became a high priority for Southwark council as crime rates grew and disadvantage, reportedly, was amongst the poorest in Britain.


Today however, as the works continue, the Aylesbury estate is enjoying much anticipated improvements. Kate Davies, Chief Executive of Notting Hill Housing has announced:

“this is another important step forward in the regeneration of the Aylesbury and we are proud to be providing new facilities such as a library and health centre”.


In an era of record-high asbestos related illnesses, Pennington Choices’ sampling surveys aim to ensure that no single contractor, tenant or visitor becomes another statistic in the worrying numbers of asbestos deaths.


Southwark council outlined extensive plans to commit to smooth and unobtrusive development works that included full tenant access to their home, full emergency service access, unaltered waste collection as well as extensive traffic management schemes. Pennington Choices’ air monitoring is a crucial component in delivering a quality and safe service to the community and workers on the Aylesbury Estate.


For any asbestos project, commercial or residential, small or large, contact our asbestos team on 020 8290 5629 or email

Proposed £28m refurb at Alexandra Palace calls for asbestos consultancy services

March 16, 2015

Following a competitive tender process for asbestos consultancy services, the team at Pennington Choices have been appointed by Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust (APPCT) to undertake asbestos consultancy work. This is part of the preparatory works for the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) project areas, comprising the BBC Studios, East Court and Victorian Theatre.

Alexandra Palace in need of asbestos consultancy

Approximately 40% of the iconic building is no longer open to the public. Subject to HLF approval due at the end of March, significant investment will be made to the building allowing some areas of the listed landmark to be accessible to the public for the first time in recent history.

The works will include the restoration of the Victorian Theatre as a cultural venue, and to transform the pioneering former BBC Studios into a visitor attraction and learning space.

Asbestos was used for sound insulation and fire-proofing on many walls in the Studios. It was also used in many other applications here too. Some of this coating has been removed over the years, but further works are required in order to make the spaces usable again. New floor coverings and wall linings will be added, as they would have originally looked in the 1930s.

BBC Studios, East Court and Victorian Theatre asbestos consultancy and surveys

Our asbestos surveyors were specifically chosen for this commission due to their experience of working within similar historic and listed buildings nationwide, and were commended for their well-considered tailored approach to a complex and sensitive site during the tender process.

“We are delighted to have been awarded this contract. This is testimony to the dedication and commitment of our staff.  It is a privilege to be associated with such an iconic London landmark.” Paul Wright, Head of Asbestos Services – Pennington Choices Ltd


Asbestos surveyor asbestos consultancy


With great sensitivity and focus on preservation and protection the surveying team will undertake an asbestos refurbishment and demolition survey of specific areas of Alexandra Palace in February and March 2015.


As a visitor of Alexandra Palace will this affect you?
“No, our survey will be carried out discreetly and will not impact on the day to day use of the Palace.”




“Our mission is to help create a safe working environment for the project workers carrying out the restoration and development of the building.” Martin Burt, Project Manager – Pennington Choices Ltd.


At Pennington Choices we have our own in-house bulk sample UKAS accredited laboratory and mobile laboratories for air monitoring. These comprehensive services enable us to provide an efficient and effective service to all clients.
For further information and ten facts about the HLF Project click here.

For more information and enquiries for Asbestos management and consultancy services please contact or call our head office on 01928 568842.
For press enquiries please contact

Anna Rampling: becoming an Asbestos Surveyor

February 20, 2015

Anna’s journey at Pennington Choices: Beginning my asbestos surveyor training with BOHS proficiency modules and exams, asbestos management audits and much more!

As a client you can read about Anna’s journey and understand the care and attention that our asbestos surveyors pay to their work. Or if you are thinking of a career in asbestos surveying read about Anna’s first hand experiences.

Click here to read Anna’s blog: a sometimes humorous take on a very serious subject.

If you are considering a career in asbestos surveying or would like to further your surveying career by taking BOHS Proficiency modules and exams visit our training page for more information or drop us an email or call us:

Telephone: 0800 883 8820 | Email:

A member of the team will be happy to help and advise you on the right course for you.

asbestos surveyor in action

Completing audits for asbestos management surveys

Asbestos in UK Schools

November 7, 2014

The management of asbestos in schools is currently a hot topic. Government, HSE (Health & Safety Executive), industry experts, pressure groups all have something to say. 

Why now?

Paul Wright CCP (Asbestos), Head of Asbestos Services reports;


In 2013/14 the HSE inspected 153 UK schools outside of local authority control. These included foundation, voluntary-aided, independent, academies and free schools.  The purpose of the inspections was twofold:

  • To assess the level of compliance with CAR2012 (Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012).
  • To inform future interventions within the education sector.

The results were published in June 2014 and revealed that of all the schools inspected, 20 (13%) received formal enforcement action. The failures were attributed to these schools having a less than robust asbestos management plan.

Regulation 4 of the CAR2012 places a legal duty on the person(s) directly responsible for the maintenance and repair of every non domestic premise including schools. With regard to schools, headteachers, school governors, and other members of the school management team need to know who is responsible for asbestos management procedures and documentation.  In addition, it is vital that maintenance, repair work and improvements on school buildings are carried out safely.  This is an ongoing commitment, not a one-off survey that can then be left on the shelf.

However, the above only addresses the law and process. More importantly, what about the children? 

For over forty years, warnings have been given to successive UK governments that children are more at risk from asbestos than adults.  Dr Robin Rudd, a UK Consultant Physician has stated that

all asbestos exposure is cumulative” and “later exposure adds to earlier exposure.”

The increased vulnerability of children is twofold:

  • They will live longer for the disease to develop.
  • During their school years their physiology is still developing.

In 1991 the Chairman of the US Committee in Environmental Hazards wrote:

We are the inheritors of history and our children are the inheritors of our mistakes and our failures. We have failed in the past.  The result of our collective failure is reflected in the fact that asbestos is widespread in schools and other buildings today.

I believe the UK government has prevaricated for too long. It has a responsibility to fully assess the matter through a proper risk assessment on researched facts.  The management of asbestos in schools can then be based on firm conclusions.

On the back of the HSE study, Pennington Choices Ltd launched a ‘Back to School’ campaign in south London to highlight the potential risks to staff, children and other building users from having ACMs (asbestos containing materials) at their school.

We have been working with the responsible person(s) at each school to understand their obligations, appropriately manage the ACMs and consequently protect the buildings occupants from the potential of asbestos exposure.

To speak to Paul further about the campaign, request a free initial discussion about you Asbestos Management Plan or any Asbestos concerns your may have please call 0800 883 8820 or email

Pennington Choices Ltd is expanding to help Asbestos Awareness across the UK!

May 1, 2014

Pennington Choices is one of the UK’s leading asbestos consultancies who have just announced the opening of a new office in Yorkshire.

Pennington’s established regional based team has grown so significantly that they now need a full time base which opened in April 2014.

With over 22 years experience in the Asbestos Industry and a huge range of Asbestos Consultancy expertise Debbie Beasley, Regional Asbestos Consultant, is heading up the team there.

“After 2 years of developing an expanding client base within the North and North West, I am thrilled that this has enabled us to open a permanent office in the region. It means that we can continue to grow and develop our business and our team are even more excited about our plans for further growth within the coming years. Go team Pennington!” – Debbie Beasley, Regional Asbestos Consultant

What can the Pennington team in Yorkshire do for you? If you would like some advice about appropriate asbestos management, risk assessments, site audits, surveying, project management or training for your new and existing staff about asbestos awareness in the north of England, Debbie is your expert.

The office is in close to Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham and Barnsley – to arrange a consultation/chat with Debbie or a member of her team please call 01709 763605.

“One of Pennington’s goals for the future is to bring our trusted experts to as many areas of the UK as possible. I am delighted to see that the growth of our customer base and projects in the north of England has enabled us to open a permanent base for our consultants and specialists to work from” Mark Seaborn, MD at Pennington

To discover more about Asbestos visit Pennington’s specialist website –
Pennington work with both public and private sectors in all areas of property management –

Further Expansion of Laboratory

April 18, 2013

Due to increased volumes of bulk samples being analysed in our own in-house UKAS accredited laboratory, and projected volumes through 2013 and beyond, we have installed four new fume cabinets and recruited four new trainees. This will take the number of operational fume cabinets to 11.  We currently have 7 bulk identification analysts.The laboratory is fitted with the latest Bigneat fume cabinets and Nikon polarised light microscopes.

Contract Award: Kirklees Council

April 18, 2013

Kirklees Council  –  Asbestos Consultancy Framework
We are delighted to announce our appointment to the above framework. We were  informed that we came first on  both quality and price, and this  is testament to the  high  quality of our staff, systems and the services we provide. We look forward to working with them.

Laboratory Extension

March 8, 2013

We have expanded our bulk identification laboratory into what was the old meeting room. This extension will allow us to add three new fume cabinets, giving us a total of seven. We currently have five full time, P401 qualified bulk ID technicians and have recently recruited another two trainees.

Asbestos Surveying for Circle Housing Group

March 8, 2013

We are pleased to announce our appointment as Asbestos Consultants for the Circle Housing group. The award of the contract for the Southern region demands a programme of Management Surveys and Refurbishment and Demolition Surveys. We will be working with building maintenance contractors on a portfolio of approximately 21,000 homes throughout Kent, Surrey and West London.

Contract award with LB Southwark

March 8, 2013

We are delighted to announce that we have been re-appointed to this contract. This is a testament to the quality of the surveys we provide and the efforts of all the staff involved.


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