WORK to demolish an building which contained asbestos on the site of a currently-closed Kidderminster recycling facility is underway but the project is behind schedule.

Kidderminster's Household Recycling Centre (HRC) on Worcester Road closed on January 31 to allow for the demolition but it has only just got underway. That means the original August completion date of the work and likely re-opening of the site by Worcestershire County Council is also likely to be held back.

The delay follows a closer inspection of the building to be demolished by site contractors Severn Waste Services which showed the requirements for the safe removal of cement bonded asbestos would be more complex than first thought.

Conservative counillor Anthony Blagg, cabinet member for environment, said the county council was taking the opportunity while the site was closed to conduct a "thorough review" which would take in a number of issues including safety, capacity and customer experience.

The site is not likely to close permenantly and if any proposal on its future was to be put forward, the county council has suggested to The Shuttle a full public consultation would be held before any decision took place.

During the closure period, residents are being advised to use the Stourport HRC in Minster Road, Stourport. Staff who usually work at the Kidderminster facility have been temporarily relocated to Stourport and the increase in usage and possible impact on traffic is being constantly monitored by the authority.

Mr Blagg added: "It is important to stress that no decisions on the Kidderminster site have been taken at this stage and any agreed outcome would only come following a full examination and consultation with the public, which is expected to take place later this year."

The Shuttle reported rumours earlier this year that there were three options on the table – carry out the work on the building and use that space so the site can accept more materials, close the site or re-open it without additional space. Council bosses said they would be developing a business case to consider options.