Anger as large pile of rubbish is dumped in Southwick by ‘disgusting’ fly-tippers

Fly-tipping in Pigeon House Lane, Southwick, which has sparked anger from residents. Photo: Samantha Mills
Fly-tipping in Pigeon House Lane, Southwick, which has sparked anger from residents. Photo: Samantha Mills
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TOUGHER action is needed to clampdown on ‘disgusting’ fly-tippers dumping waste in a quiet country lane, residents have demanded.

A large pile of rubbish has been left stacked in Pigeon House Lane, Southwick – one which residents claim is blocking part of the road.

Among the mess includes a number of carpets, bags of household waste, wooden pallets and even a bathtub.

Samantha Mills, of Paulsgrove, discovered the rubbish and has reported it to Winchester City Council.

However, the 36-year-old said this wasn’t the first time yobs had blighted the lane. She is now demanding new measures to deter people from illegally leaving rubbish there.

The mum-of-seven said: ‘It’s absolutely disgusting. I walk my dogs down there on a regular basis and this is becoming an everyday occurrence.

‘It’s sick. This time it’s a huge pile. It’s obstructing part of the road and is a risk to drivers.

‘I just think it’s so wrong, this is the only bit of countryside around. That’s the only bit of serenity I get living in Paulsgrove and people are ruining it.’

Asked what action she would like taken, Ms Mills said: ‘I would like to see cameras installed down there to try and catch the people who do it.’

Fly-tipping is illegal. Those caught can face a potential fine of up to £50,000 and a maximum prison sentence of two years.

Earlier this year Hampshire County Council launched a joint campaign with police, district and borough councils, as well as city councils, the Environment Agency and rural groups, to stamp out fly-tipping.

Councillor Rob Humby, executive member for environment and transport at Hampshire County Council, said: ‘We launched a major campaign earlier this year to send out a clear message that fly-tipping will not be tolerated here and are seeing positive results.

‘As well as improved reporting and enforcement, a key strand of this work is co-ordinating with partner organisations to publicise a few simple steps that householders and businesses can take to have peace of mind that any waste taken away by contractors is being done so legally and responsibly, and doesn’t end up fly-tipped.

‘Hampshire’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) are now open to small businesses, providing a legal and cost effective place for contractors to dispose of waste from house renovations or gardening work - there’s no excuse for fly-tipping.  I’m glad to hear this incident was reported quickly; it will be investigated. We’re seeing more successful prosecutions across Hampshire, with magistrates handing out larger fines to unscrupulous individuals who have, for too long, thought they could get away with blighting our neighbourhoods and countryside.’

The effort came following the news that former Gosport man Ashley Mooney was jailed for a year after being branded the county’s ‘worst fly-tipper’.

Mooney had touted for business on Facebook trading as A&M Waste Clearance, charging up to £150 a time to take away rubbish.
But rubbish he picked up in a flat-bed truck, including sofas, mattresses, armchairs and pallets, was found scattered across Hampshire.

Costs to landowners and the local authorities to clear the junk totalled £8,916 while combined investigation costs reached £16,702.

He was jailed following a hearing at Portsmouth Crown Court in February 2017.

Megan Lock, rural adviser at CLA South East, which represents landowners and farmers across the county, said fly-tipping was damaging.

‘It is not a victimless crime,’ she said. ‘It’s a vicious cycle of costly clean-ups by landowners and farmers who personally bear the burden of waste crime on their land.’

Find out more at: www.hants.gov.uk/fly-tipping