Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Litter dumping by the stream

A group of people in Llanbadarn Fawr regularly pick litter and clear the stream in Bronpadarn Mansion woods. In contrast the developer who owns the site, Mr Fenton, has contracted builders who have, in sight of dog walkers, tipped builders' rubble and other litter just off the public footpath and into the steep gully which then slides into the stream. On one occassion the dog walker was able to get a vehicle registration number and has a Police Report for this incident.

Vehicle: SA03 JRY White ford flatback
Incident date: 9.05am Thur 31 July 08.
Police informed: Sun Aug 3rd at 12pm.
Police ref no: DP20080803/251

It is exactly this sort of thing locals are upset and frustrated by. This is the same developer who originally claimed he wanted to protect the historic glass houses - yet his last building application (which was passed) was a plan to build on top of them. Obviously Mr Fenton has little regard for this land or he would instruct the builders not to dump material in the woods.

Rubbish tipped by the builders in July 08 (1)

Rubbish tipped by the builders in July 08 (2)

The stream

Builder's rubble left by Mr Fenton's workers recently

As far back as May 2007 the litter started to appear, when ALP Property Management/Mr Fenton were trying to get a planning application to build in the woods passed. At that time local residents noticed a lot of fly-tipping on the site, which had never happened in such volumes before. One resident removed a fridge that had been dumped there; and another group spent time getting rid of pallets and broken chairs that had been dumped in the stream (see photos below). This shows how much the local residents value Bronpadarn woods, that they will spend their time removing fly-tipped rubbish from the site. It was also strange that someone has taken things to such a difficult-to-access place to dump them. It was as if someone wais trying to make the woods look unnatural, perhaps to influence the WAG Inspector into thinking the woods were not worth protecting as natural woodland?

Pallets dumped in the stream in 2007.

Yesterday it was noticed by a local resident that even more rubbish had been dumped there.

There is a saga here though. Back in May some volunteers spent the morning unblocking the stream. Some children had apparently been trying to dam it so that the water was becoming foul, and there was a danger in heavy rains of all the logs, pallets, car tyres, an old christmas tree, leaves and soil washing down at once and blocking culverts and flooding properties further down. The volunteers cleared as much as they could and took away a lot of rubbish for recycling, but couldn't move a few items which were too big (e.g. a massive tractor tyre). Ceredigion County Council were asked if they would at least help out by taking away the tyre and the remaining pallets to prevent them being used to dam the stream again, to save more expensive jobs removing blockages later (which would then be the Council's job to clear because further downstream it is their responsibility). It would seem to be a false economy to ignore things that were easily repairable but then act when things became a much bigger problem, and mroe expensive to fix.

The County Council refused to take the items away because the stream is on private land - Mr Fenton's land. Once again, although in planning Application A080487 he claimed to be respectful to the local environment, we find that not only does he do nothing about the rubbish on his land, but his own builders add to it.

It should be pointed out that although the land is privately-owned, it has a right of way through it and is used as a community space (hence the public-spirited nature of the volunteers in clearing rubbish and respecting this precious green space); also the stream running through it then crosses public land, so public areas are affected by it.

There is one other option. Since the County Council won't help by taking away items that block the stream, they could take action to force the landowner to, on the grounds that he is failing to look after the stream, and the rubbish dumped into the stream from his land threatens to block the stream and culvert and flood properties further down, as well as being an eyesore. At the same time the Council could require him not to let his builders dump more rubbish into the ravine, since his own workers are one of the causes of the problem. Not only would the Council be within its rights to raise that issue with the irresponsible landowner, but it would then be preventing costly work further down the line when the culvert gets blocked on public land and the council then has to clear it. The longer there is inaction on this issue, the more likely that irresponsible people will add to the things dumped into the stream.

Nearly every month local residents clear out the stream. This should be the landowner's responsibility.

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