Last weekend saw yet another fire at the abandoned recycling plant on Sandy Lane in Worksop and people are worried about what is being done, writes Coun Simon Greaves, Bassetlaw Council leader.
The previous owners are being investigated by the Environment Agency and the company is in liquidation and has disclaimed the property.
So at the moment the site is nominally owned by the Crown Estate, making it effectively an ‘orphan’ site that nobody really owns and will cost millions to clear.
It must be really frustrating for the fire service being called out to fires on this site.
And it’s frustrating for the council as it has because the council has no responsibility for the site.
But it does have a responsibility to residents and this needs sorting.
Over the last 18 months there have been a series of meetings with the Environment Agency, fire service, county council, police and Public Health England.
The council has sent dossiers to the Department of the Environment, the Ministry of Housing & Local Government and has written to the Crown Estate.
The chairman of the Environment Agency has visited the site and the local MP has met with Ministers.
On the site itself, the council has, along with the Environment Agency and county council, paid for the removal of significant quantities of granulised fridge foam, which was not even permitted to be there in the first place.
CCTV has been installed at the site and perimeter fences have been secured where possible.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t able to prevent the latest fire, but without the work to date it could have been far worse.
The council hasn’t got millions of pounds to clear this site and the Crown Estate won’t take on any liabilities for it.
It’s time the Government got a grip on situations like this and either made money available for clearance or waives the landfill tax.
Otherwise we’ll all just be in the same situation again.