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Residents have lived by a dump' for months

PUBLISHED: 16:08 05 August 2009 | UPDATED: 15:37 16 August 2010

CONTROVERSIAL: The Downham Enterprise Centre.

CONTROVERSIAL: The Downham Enterprise Centre.

IT LOOKS more like a game of Hangman than a sign for a centre which aims to promote business. The rundown Downham Enterprise Centre adjoined by derelict land in Boundfield Road, Catford, has been plagued by fly-tippers and rowdy youths for months. Lew

IT LOOKS more like a game of Hangman than a sign for a centre which aims to promote business.

The rundown Downham Enterprise Centre adjoined by derelict land in Boundfield Road, Catford, has been plagued by fly-tippers and rowdy youths for months.

Lewisham council, which owns the property in a freehold lease, has been aware of problems there since April but until last week had not taken any steps to clean it up.

Lewisham East councillor Pete Pattisson wrote to the council on April 17 to complain about the mess. After seven weeks he received a response which stated it could not be cleared because the council was negotiating its redevelopment but that a quote would be sought to get rid of the piles of rubbish as soon as this was done.

A further seven weeks and still nothing had been done. However, the day after the Times contacted Lewisham council on July 22, they finally sent a team to get rid of the stacks of dirty and dangerous rubbish which had been allowed to amass there.

Mr Pattisson said:" It's great that they've done it. If we want a place to be enterprising, then it has to look enterprising. On the other hand, you have to question why it's taken so long to do. I wrote to them 14 weeks ago and I know it was in that state some time before that.

"I'm sure it will be welcomed by residents who have effectively been living beside a dump for months.

"Although most of the units are occupied and the tenants seem happy to be there, they are unhappy with the adjoining derelict land.

"It attracts flytippers and young people hang around and climb on the roofs.

"The garages are lethal, the roofs are almost collapsing. It's not an environment that is conducive to business."

The council has now apologised for the time it took to clear the site and says it plans to improve security there.

A council spokesperson said "The flytipping in units adjacent to the Downham Enterprise Centre has now all been cleared and we can only apologise for the delay in this being carried out.

"We have also arranged for hoarding to be erected, and we hope this will prevent the problem occurring again in the future.

"The council is currently looking at all the unoccupied land it currently owns with a view of identifying the development potential of each site and the units surrounding the Downham Enterprise Centre are included in this.

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