Neighbours left stunned by five days of fly-tipping near their homes
‘Masked men’ were able to dump rubbish on an ‘industrial scale’
10 March, 2017 — By Koos Couvée
The Bush industrial estate premises in Upper Holloway where travellers fly-tipped huge amounts of waste over a five-day period
UPPER Holloway residents this week expressed their shock after a group of travellers were able to take part in “industrial-scale” fly-tipping undisturbed for five days.
The rear part of the Bush Industrial estate, in Station Road, was completely covered in old furniture, garden and building waste between last Tuesday and Sunday, when the Town Hall and police officers stopped a number of the vehicles involved in dumping.
Residents said the travellers arrived with trucks and caravans and moved onto the site on February 17. While they initially only complained about noise caused by generators, last Tuesday masked and hooded men started unloading tipper-trucks – which had their licence plates covered up – full of rubbish onto the site.
Within a matter of days, a space the size of half a football pitch was filled up.
A hooded fly-tipper unloading waste from a truck at the Station Road site
Wedmore Gardens resident Chris Seddon, 61, whose flat backs onto the site, said: “It was totally unreal. There were a number of lads with their faces masked, it was like watching a gangster movie. There were three different trucks and they were coming by the hour.
“This was a clearly planned operation. They knew the site would be available, they had contacts with people that needed crap removing, filled the place up and left.
“I don’t see why they didn’t see it was a public order matter and put a stop to it.”
Telereal Trillium, the property company which owns of the site, said the trespassers cut through two sets of padlocks and chains on the main gates, as well as a metal vehicle perimeter barrier that was secured on either side by blocks that were placed in front of the gates.
In a statement, the company described the fly-tipping as “a carefully planned act of organised criminal activity”.
Anita Frizzarin, 58, also of Wedmore Gardens, said: “I’m shocked [the council and police] did not stop them for five days. If they’d stopped those trucks and asked if they had a waste carrier’s licence they would’ve found out they didn’t and could have stopped them. But they didn’t.”
Chris Seddon and Anita Frizzarin at the industrial estate site which backs onto their homes
Islington Council and police officers mounted an operation on Sunday, stopping a number of the vehicles. Several hours later the group left with their caravans and have not returned.
Opposition Green Councillor Caroline Russell described the council’s response as “just not good enough”.
“Council and police seemed incapable of acting, despite repeated alerts from increasingly worried residents,” she said. “It seems there was confusion about ownership of the site and how to deal with the situation that could have been dealt with more swiftly by the police stopping the illegal vehicles.”
Cllr Claudia Webbe, the council’s environment and transport chief, hit back, saying the council was “furious” at the “illegal dumping on an industrial scale”.
“This operation was a planned action, requiring significant police and council resources, and went ahead as soon as resources were available,” she said. “This is a private site and securing and clearing the site is the landowner’s responsibility. We are working with them on this.
“We will now investigate what legal action can be brought.”
A spokeswoman for Telereal Trillium, which obtained a court order to regain possession of the site yesterday (Thursday), said Royal Mail had a lease on the site until January 27, after which it was secured.
“At no time was the site left unlocked and appropriate security measures were in place at all times,” she said.
“Enforcement officers will be on site to evict any remaining trespassers and specialist clearance contractors will conduct a site survey, at which point clean-up can commence.”
It would come at “significant” cost to the firm, she added.
Legal action can be brought against builders, contractors or private individuals who give their waste to fly-tippers offering a cheap deal for waste disposal.