SICKENED shop owners claim lives are being put at risk by litter-bugs who have dumped hoards of rubbish outside a vital fire exit.
For the past week, trash has been stacking up in Harold Road, Southsea, behind the Wedgewood Rooms.
But this week those living and working close to the eyesore say the problem is spiralling out of control and becoming a health and safety risk.
Andrew Pearce owns Creatiques bridal boutique with husband Rob. The high-end store is adjacent to the area being blighted by fly-tipping.
Mr Pearce is outraged by the state of the alley and is demanding action to clean up the mess, which he says is hitting his business and risking lives.
‘It is just disgusting,’ he said. ‘There are used needles there, used nappies with faeces in them and rats. It’s sick.
‘We’re a multi award-winning shop offering fantastic service. I don’t want our brides to have to see this.’
The businessman said the fly-tipping had been a issue for a long time but in recent weeks the amount of trash dumped there had intensified.
He said he had approached Portsmouth City Council’s environmental health department, which is yet to take any action.
‘It’s got so bad we called the fire brigade to see what they can do,’ he added. ‘But because it is on private land there is nothing they can do.’
Portsmouth City Council boss Donna Jones said she would not tolerate residents dumping rubbish on the streets.
She added the council had been forced to do weekly clean-ups of Harold Road, which is piling on additional pressure on its resources.
‘We take the report from Creatiques extremely seriously,’ she said. ‘Portsmouth is one of the cleanest cities in the country when it comes to fly-tipping.
‘Residents irresponsibly throwing rubbish on the streets won’t be tolerated. We have CCTV in the city and they will be caught and prosecuted.’
To report fly-tipping, see portsmouth.gov.uk/ext/forms/report-fly-tipping or call 023 9282 2251.