What a mess! Rotten food, dirty nappies and rubble dumped on estate

Fly tipping at West Byland,  Illingworth
Fly tipping at West Byland, Illingworth

THESE are the squalid conditions fly-tippers are forcing residents of a housing estate to live alongside.

Piles of bin bags, used nappies, rotting food, broken toys and building rubble have been dumped in the gardens of empty homes in North Selby and West Byland in Illingworth, Halifax.

One private tenant who lives next door to one of the worst sites told the Courier not enough was being done to sort it out.

The 29-year-old mum said: “It’s a disgrace. I have been here about a year and a half now and it’s getting worse.”

She said she was worried about the effect on her three children, aged eight, two and six months.

“You just don’t know what is in there,” she said.

One of her neighbours has even resorted to burning the rubbish to help rid the area of it.

The waste, which has been building up for months, was reported to Calderdale Council’s environmental health department by the fire service in November because it was considered a fire risk.

The council notified Pennine Housing the same day, but the rubbish remains.

Andrew Tagg, Conservative candidate for Illingworth and Mixenden, is calling for the social housing provider to sort out the problem.

He said: “Reviewing the waste it is not only a fire risk but a risk to health.

“There are used nappies, waste food and other rotting household waste in the gardens.

“I must say I find it very depressing to see that young children live next door to what can only be called squalor.”

Independent ward councillor Tom Bates has organised three community clean-up days on the Abbey Park estate in a bid to tackle the problem.

Last February, more than 400 bin bags of rubbish were collected and three skips filled in just three hours.

“When we do organise these clean-ups people do come out, so they do have pride in their area,” he said.

“But it’s certain people, like everywhere, who just spoil it for others.

“It just brings the whole area down.”

He said Pennine Housing needed to find a long-term solution to the problem.

“Until they bring these empty properties and put families in them people are going to continue to throw rubbish there,” he said.

Mr Tagg added: “It is up to Pennine to manage this and inspect these empty properties regularly.”

A spokeswoman for Pennine Housing said it was aware of the problem and was taking steps to sort it out.

She said: “Our caretakers clear it on a weekly basis but the rubbish comes back. It is a constant problem.”

Signs are soon to be put up on the targeted properties warning would-be offenders the area is under surveillance and they could be prosecuted.

“We are taking a multi-agency approach, with the neighbourhood policing team keeping an eye out for who might be doing it,” she said.

“We are clearing it up as quickly as we can.”