The effects of a power station blaze which showered asbestos over a community will not be known for 20 years, a meeting was told last night.

Residents near the fire-ravaged Broomgrove power station, Hastings, have been told no health checks are available to reassure them there will be no lasting affect.

The station was devastated by fire in May and fragments of asbestos were scattered near homes on the Broomgrove estate.

But at a special meeting of Hastings Council, residents were told they could only make a mental note of the incident so that any health problems in years to come could be traced back to the fire.

An Environment Agency spokeswoman said: "It's not a case of money, there just simply isn't a test available."

She said clumps of asbestos were less likely to cause harm than fine particles of it.