Lewisham Council’s Clean Streets Enforcement team are still investigating the large illegal rubbish dump that has appeared next to New Cross Gate train station.
Local Labour Councillor Joe Dromey reported via Twitter on January 24th that the dump, which has been there for at least 3 months, was to be cleared by February 3rd, at a cost to the private landowner of £50,000.
Update on dump next to New Cross Gate: should be cleared in. 10 days. Environment Agency have been investigating 1/3 https://t.co/loXEQteQbz—
Joe Dromey (@Joe_Dromey) January 24, 2016
Apologies for residents affected by this. It's disgraceful disrespect for our community. #DontdumpinDeptford! 3/3—
Joe Dromey (@Joe_Dromey) January 24, 2016
However, it now seems that this will not be undertaken until at least the end of February, according to Councillor Dromey.
Visitors approaching New Cross from central London are confronted by the dump which runs along the east side of the tracks as they arrive into New Cross Gate station.
Report from the site of the dump:
It is made up mostly of household bric-a-brac, builders’ waste, and noticeably larger items such as mattresses, broken furniture and flooring.
The otherwise empty 1.55 acre site, which is approximately 300 metres long and 30 metres wide (just to the right of the railways tracks in the image below), had what appeared to be caravans and families living upon it towards the end of last year.
There are two entrances, the most prominent one being on New Cross Road, which is now heavily secured to prevent access.
The other is along Goodwood Road, which has a large metal gate and signs warning of CCTV cameras.
The Environment Agency, a national government body that oversees such incidents, told LMMNews:
We’re not leading on the investigation or management of this incident, but are liaising with and supporting officers from Lewisham Council’s Clean Streets enforcement team who are.
Local business owners who wanted to remain anonymous told LMMNews that the families and caravans stationed there before Christmas arrived almost immediately after the lot became vacant last year.
They went on to say that the caravans initially stayed at the far end of the lot away from New Cross Road, but later moved nearer the gate, thereby blocking views to the rear of the lot.
Over the period of just “a few days”, numerous mini tipper trucks arrived one after the other, dumping their loads behind the caravans and out of sight, leaving in quick succession.
Then the families and caravans left.
This was all done, the local business owners told me, without the knowledge of the private landowners, Reliant Building Contractors Ltd. (RBC).
Large concrete blocks have now been installed by Reliant directly behind the New Cross Road gates, blocking vehicle access.
But they have not cleared the waste.
Reliant has applied for planning permission to build 145 flats and 3 houses on the site.
Waste disposal is big business across the country, and especially in the capital, where builders’ waste is particularly expensive and troublesome to have removed.
Exactly how such a large illegal operation managed to happen without the knowledge of the authorities is unclear.
What is very apparent, is that this prime piece of New Cross real estate is literally being laid to waste.
Councillor Dromey has so far declined requests of an interview, but when asked via Twitter to comment on the inability of Lewisham Borough Council to act to clear the dump, Councillor Dromey said:
Council working with Environment Agency and landowner to get it cleared… wish it would be quicker. But landowner is responsible and bill for them expected to be c. 50k. very unfortunate situation
– Councillor Joe Dromey via Twitter
LMMNews has requested interviews with both Lewisham Borough and Reliant, the land owners, but so far only the land owners have replied.
Reliant released this statement to LMMNews on Thursday February 4th:
A Lewisham Council spokesperson said: “This piece of land has been the subject of criminal activity. The Environment Agency has been leading the investigation in consultation with the Council and other agencies. The owner of the land has been instructed to clear the site by mid-February . We are unable to comment any further at this time.”
-Reliant Building Contractors Ltd
LMMNews went out into New Cross Gate to get your opinions on the illegal dump.