Resident raises concerns over time taken to clear illegal waste site in a north Derbyshire village

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A concerned resident has raised concerns about the length of time being taken to clear an illegal waste site in a Derbyshire village.

North East Derbyshire District Council enforcement officers originally shut down two illegal waste sites at two north Derbyshire villages, West Handley and Ridegway, with court granted site Closure Orders in September, 2023, for a maximum of three months.

The council also had civil injunctions imposed on two connected individuals to ban them from West Handley.

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However, a resident has spoken out on behalf of concerned villagers that some issues have still not been fully resolved with claims that someone linked to the site is continuing to occupy the land, that villagers feel intimidated and that there appears to have been no monitoring or further action taken.

West Handley, In North East DerbyshireWest Handley, In North East Derbyshire
West Handley, In North East Derbyshire

The resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “He has to stop using the site, clear skips and any machinery to do with the skip hire business.

“Within three months he has to clear the caravan he’s been living in and by May the site has to be cleared.

“The site is supposed to be monitored but we have not seen police or council yet doing that.”

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NE Derbyshire District Council and Derbyshire Constabulary secured the Closure Orders following more than a year of reports of anti-social behaviour problems including intimidation, criminal damage and noise nuisance.

The additional council civil injunctions against two individuals also meant they were banned from West Handley for 12 months.

A power of arrest was also attached to this exclusion so if any individual breached the terms of their ban the police could arrest them and they could be committed to prison for up to two years.

In addition, a further injunction order and power of arrest was also made in respect of a third individual who is, however, still allowed to enter the village, according to NE Derbyshire District Council.

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The council had originally issued public notices stating it had carried out the seizure of six vehicles in August, 2023, at the site of the former Pople Nursery, on Main Road, in West Handley.

It also carried out further enforcement action seizing six more vehicles from an address on High Lane, Ridgeway.

Residents believe the occupants have now been given four months, until May, to clear the site of skips and machinery.

The resident says villagers are “still living with intimidation and in fear” with those associated with the site walking a big dog near to the village.

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A NE Derbyshire District Council spokesperson said: “The council and partners take matters in this case very seriously [and] are in regular contact with the residents over the concerns they raise about enforcement and requesting the evidence to support the allegations of breaches.

“Regular visits in relation to the injunctions are being carried out in order to check the current position and monitor compliance. Residents would not necessarily be aware of them.

“It has been explained to residents that any allegations of a breach would need to be backed up with evidence. Then, partners can assess the evidence and any legal powers available to take appropriate and reasonable action.

“The council served enforcement notices in a variety of ways including via post, email and in person using bailiff services. Enforcement action was not hampered in any way by the delivery of documents or service of notices.”

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A Derbyshire police spokesperson said: “Since action was taken last year by the force, in conjunction with North East Derbyshire District Council, there has been continued monitoring of the site to ensure the court order relating to individuals accessing the site are adhered to.

“One of those involved in the banning order has been taken to court for an alleged breach, however, the evidence that was provided did not reach the threshold for conviction.

“We continue to receive reports of breaches and we would urge anyone with information, in particular CCTV, mobile footage, or dashcam, to get in touch with the force.

“The site, and the wider village, forms part of the regular patrol strategy and there are regular checks ongoing."

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