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HomeNewsCalls To Clear 'Illegal' Ashford Waste Tip

Calls To Clear ‘Illegal’ Ashford Waste Tip

Conservationists have called for an area of ancient woodland in Ashford, “devastated” by vast quantities of illegal waste, to be cleaned up.

Residents living close to the site at Hoads Wood said the worst of the dumping started in July 2023 when dozens of grab lorries would tip waste every day.

It continued until January 2024, when the Environment Agency closed the tip down.

The Environment Agency blocked access to the illegal waste site after a court order was obtained at Medway magistrates’ court at a hearing on 16 January 2024. The order prohibits anyone from entering or depositing waste on the site.

The Environment Agency has now locked the site’s access gate, placed concrete blocks to prevent access and placed a warning notice at the entrance.

The Environment Agency said it was leading an ongoing investigation into the alleged illegal tipping of commercial waste at the site.

This order has been secured following local community’s concerns and the environmental impact of the tipping of waste at the site

David Mairs from countryside charity CPRE Kent said “It’s a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It’s got designation. It’s got protection. Just get this stuff cleaned.”

Residents and conservation groups said they are due to be meeting with the Environment Agency, Kent Police, Ashford Borough Council and Kent County Council on Friday 15th March to try to find out who will clean it up and when.

The woodland affected is divided into about a dozen plots and there are a number of owners.

Ian Rickards of Kent Wildlife Trust, which has a nature reserve nearby said: “It is an ancient woodland so it would have been woodland untouched for anything major for hundreds of years. The damage from this is devastating.”

Sergeant Darren Walshaw, of Kent Police’s rural task force, said “The size of this site and the amount of waste allegedly illegally dumped there is shocking and totally irresponsible.
Fly-tipping is often linked to other forms of criminality and we are therefore assisting the Environment Agency and other partner agencies with their investigation and associated enforcement action”.

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