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Council will shut off Star Lane to keep out fly-tippers

PUBLISHED: 10:47 04 March 2019

Star Lane closed with concrete blocks in March 2019. Photo: Bromley Council

Star Lane closed with concrete blocks in March 2019. Photo: Bromley Council

Archant

Bromley Council has been forced to take drastic action and temporarily close a road favoured by fly-tippers.

Things have got so bad along the road in St Mary Cray that the authority can now install concrete barriers to keep out vehicles at a moment’s notice.

The council said Star Lane can now be shut at any time as part of an anti fly-tip operation.

The concrete blocks can be quickly installed to completely close the lane just to prevent vehicular access.

Plus, the council said it is monitoring surrounding roads to ensure the problem isn’t displaced.

Kate Lymer, executive councillor for public protection and enforcement, said: “Fly-tipping is not welcome in this borough so we are using everything at our disposal to tackle this ongoing problem, including prosecutions.

“Fly-tipping is dangerous, especially for drivers in country lanes where the road can be totally blocked by dumped rubbish. CCTV is part of the solution but does not necessarily deter ruthless fly-tippers, particularly where bends in the road can reduce CCTV effectiveness. Closing the road might seem a drastic solution but we’ve done it before elsewhere so we know it can be successful.”

The council said the 18-month temporary road closure order enables the authority to close and open road at any time during that period.

A spokesman said road closures could take effect at any time during this period for varying durations, so it could be closed several times during the 18-month time-frame.

Star Lane is now a hot spot for fly-tippers, including illegal waste carriers making a profit out of dumping the waste and avoiding paying disposal costs.

Last year, the council removed 740 tonnes from the road – that was up 72per cent on the year before.

Anyone caught risks a £400 Fixed Penalty Notice, vehicle seizure or court prosecution.

The council said it utilises a whole range of methods to find and deter fly-tippers including CCTV surveillance, vehicle ‘stop and search’ operations and seizing vehicles from those known to be involved in fly-tipping and from those unable to prove they are legitimate waste carriers.

The council spokesman said: “Our campaign, Fly-tippers - we’re watching you, aims to tackle all forms of fly-tipping – from a small bag of rubbish left on the street to a lorry load of construction waste dumped in a green space.”

It said residents are warned they have a duty of care and are responsible for what happens to their waste.

This means they could be liable for a substantial fine if the fly-tipped waste is traced back to them. The advice is to always use legitimate waste carriers who will be able to provide a registration number which should be validated against the Environment Agency’s live database. Also, businesses and companies should always ask a waste carrier for a waste transfer note to show the type of waste and what will happen to it.

Every time a person removes a resident’s unwanted goods or waste they must check they’re using a genuine, registered Environment Agency waste carrier.

The council said residents are advised not to use cold callers to remove their waste.

If they need an old fridge / freezer, washing machine or other white goods removed and disposed, they are advised to arrange this through the retailer, which is often cheaper than the council’s bulky waste service.

Fly-tipping witnesses should call the police straightaway and report the details to the council at www.bromley.gov.uk/envirocrime. As a thank you, up to £500 from the Envirocrime Reward Scheme is available to anyone whose evidence is used to successfully prosecute offenders. A description of the offender, vehicle registration, photograph or any other detailed information could be used as evidence and may enable the council to prosecute.

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