Calls for new crackdown on rubbish dumping

CALLS have been made for action to stop a new outbreak of fly-tipping in Staple Hill.

Piles of rubbish have repeatedly appeared on private land behind the shops and flats of Fountain Square.

The land is privately owned but South Gloucestershire Council, which previously prosecuted a landowner for not dealing with the mess, is involved in trying to stem the flow of rubbish.

Optician Stephen Dury, whose business backs on to the affected area, said the problems had been ongoing for most of this year and called for a new investigation.

He said: “Fly-tipping occurs overnight – we are usually greeted by new accumulations when we arrive for work in the morning.  The landowners over the years have shown no social responsibility whatsoever. I am fed up to the back teeth with paying big service charges for clearing other people’s rubbish.”

Stephen said action was only taken when he asked ward councillor Ian Boulton to look into the problem.

Cllr Boulton said: “The state of this land has resulted in a long-running legal battle between the absentee owners of this property and South Gloucestershire Council. 

“Despite previous successful court cases, these owners are clearly still not taking their responsibilities seriously, therefore I have asked for enforcement action to be escalated yet again.”

One lot of waste was recently removed, apparently by the landowner, but Cllr Boulton said it had soon started to build again.

He added: “South Glos Council has a formidable reputation for enforcing the law on these matters and anyone who is found to be responsible for the state of this site should be aware that they risk serious legal consequences for their actions.”

In 2019 the council prosecuted landowner Ballymoney Hill Estates, of Northern Ireland, for failing to comply with a community protection notice to clear waste from the land. The company had to pay £6,120 fines and costs.

However the Voice understands that a London-based company is now responsible for the affected area.

A council spokesperson said the problems differed from four years ago and some appeared to relate to new tenants of the flats.

The spokesperson said: “We will be asking landlords to take responsibility for ensuring that their tenants have somewhere secure to store their waste prior to collection, and to ensure that new tenants understand how to use the waste and recycling services. There are numerous landlords for the flats, in addition to the owner of the car park, which makes this more complex to resolve.”