Work to clear a huge fly-tip on an industrial estate in Widnes has finally begun almost a year after the problem was first reported.
The fly-tip at the Golden Triangle, which included mounds of building waste, children’s toys and even a caravan, has been a source of major concern for neighbours who feared a repeat of the 2019 fire that destroyed part of the site.
Both neighbours and local councillors had been frustrated by the lack of action on the fly-tipping by the Golden Triangle’s owners and at the apparent ease with which fly-tippers continued to access the site even after new gates had been installed.
However, on Monday (February 1) clearance work finally began after pressure from Halton Council.
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Cllr Eddie Dourley, who represents the area, said: “This represents long overdue progress for those families who neighbour the site.
“The residents went through a traumatic experience in 2019 as a result of the serious fire on the site.
“What has happened during the last 10 months has served to rub salt in a gaping wound so I’m delighted for the residents and again would like to thank them for their support and their patience.
“The site will now be cleared and more importantly secured to ensure its stays clean. Once again I would ask people to report anyone seen dumping rubbish illegally.”
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Halebank Parish councillor Kieran Reed also welcomed the news, saying: “A big part of me thought it would never happen.”
Cllr Reed added: “I was getting phone calls all yesterday morning about how delighted people were that something was finally getting done now.
“I would like to thank council officers from waste management and legal for pushing to work with us as elected councillors in order to have this outcome now for our constituents.”
But Cllr Reed said this was only the first step in regenerating the whole area, saying he fully supported plans to replace the industrial estate with a housing development.
On Monday evening, Halton Council’s planning committee approved plans for 86 houses on the nearby Tarmac and Stobart sites off Foundry Lane, which are intended to kick-start the wider redevelopment work.
But so far the plans do not include the relief road that was part of previous proposals. Cllr Reed said the relief road would be vital if the housing plan was to be a success as the nearby Ditton junction “just isn’t coping at all”.
He said: “That’s the one missing link now. It’s been talked about and talked about but that’s all that seems to happen.
“We’ve got to go much further, keeping [the Golden Triangle] clear and getting the houses on there and ultimately the relief road.”
Halton Council was approached for comment for this story.