Major waste clear-up after fire concerns

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A team of eight armed with a tractor and three lorries with tipper bodies removed nearly 30 tonnes of rubbish, mainly household waste, from a field behind homes in Alnwick.

The clean-up took place last Thursday after four fires on land behind Chapel Lands and Sycamore Avenue over the previous few days.

Last week, the Gazette spoke to residents who feared the situation would get worse if Northumberland County Council did not intervene and remove the rubbish.

Residents were having to take matters into their own hands and were trying to keep the areatidy before the clean-up.

Paul Jones, head of neighbourhood services at Northumberland County Council, said that it was important that the residents got behind the council and the local authority would help monitor the area.

He said: “The majority of the waste has been generated by a small minority of residents who are spoiling a lovely area.

“We have removed a huge amount of rubbish including dumped soil, bricks and household furniture in order to bring the area back up to an acceptable standard.

“However we need the support of residents to make sure that the area is kept clean and tidy for everyone’s benefit, and therefore ask residents to report anyone seen dumping rubbish via the council’s website or by phoning 0845 600 6400. All information received will be treated in confidence.

“We will continue to monitor the area and our enforcement officers will seek to issue fixed-penalty notices to any offenders.”

Pleased with the result, residents told the Gazette they were ‘so grateful’ for the work the council had carried out.

One said: “The group they sent out did a really good job and they took a lot of rubbish away.”

Another resident added: “We hope that people will not throw anymore rubbish out or set fires. We live in a beautiful area with great views.”

On Friday April 17, one fire appliance responded to a rubbish fire behind properties in the area at around 7.30pm before a controlled burn got out of hand at 8pm.

On the following Monday, one crew attended a fire to the rear of Chapel Lands at around 6pm, the area that was cleared by the council, and firefighters were then called out again at 7.23pm.