Waste4fuel land deal breakthrough
Published Wednesday, 24 August 2016
A land deal has been agreed in principle which will finally enable clearance of the rubbish mountain on the former Waste4fuel site in Orpington to begin.
The agreement follows extensive and complex negotiations between the Government, the Environment Agency (EA) and the owner of the site, brokered by Bromley Council concerning the site’s future ownership and use.
The site, which continues to be a fire risk, has seen the Environment Agency work in partnership with the council with the firm resolve to find a permanent solution to this exceptional problem. Subject to the finalisation of the contract and other legal conditions the council now seems set to acquire the site over coming weeks, with clearance work then being planned. This work, with the Environment Agency securing the funding, would then secure the long term future of the site.
The site in Cornwall Drive, located near to housing and the A20 Sidcup By Pass, is an exceptional case and has been the scene of repeated fires. Work to remove waste associated with this ongoing fire risk would then able to go-ahead, removing the need for the Environment Agency and the London Fire Brigade to continue to regularly monitor and inspect the site. The exact extent of the clearance work will need careful assessment when the council have access to the site but it would also address the long-running concern and nuisance experienced by local residents.
“I have said many times, over many months, that Bromley Council would stand by long suffering local residents and get this disgusting heap of rubbish removed and I am absolutely delighted for them all, that we now seem to be on the very cusp of achieving that goal.
This has not been an easy journey for anybody to put it mildly, involving meetings brokered by Bromley Council, with audiences ranging from local residents to Ministers of State, concerning court cases, legal disputes, complications caused by planning law and prolonged negotiations to secure the site’s ownership, but we are now tantalisingly close.
I am ever more hopeful that the various legalities will be completed shortly and at that point, ownership of the site will be secured, which will allow us to then focus on beginning the site’s clearance. There is work still to do, but once completed, we will then be able to state with absolute certainty that the site will never again be used in this way” said Deputy Leader, Councillor Colin Smith.
Andrew Pearce, Environment Agency Area Manager for Kent and South London said, “The failure to operate and maintain this site responsibly has meant the Environment Agency and Bromley Council have been left with the task of clearing up this land and protecting local residents from its impacts. This is an extreme case and we have worked hard to secure a deal to clean up the site. The Environment Agency is actively pursuing those responsible for depositing waste at the site or who have profited from it. We appreciate just how difficult it has been for local residents and we are pleased that it looks like the site can soon be finally cleared.”
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