A council in East London has cleared a privately owned site that attracted rough sleepers and illegal rubbish dumping for nine months.
Newham Council said it was initially unable to track down the site owners, but they were quick to assist it in clearing the area once contacted.
The company, tracked down through a Manchester-based property management business, initially denied knowledge of the site. But within seven days of being served a clearance order, it had the land made safe, clean and secure. Councils are unable to clear fly-tipped waste from privately owned sites.
The Grangewood Street site was identified as a priority by Operation Alabama, a council initiative to deal with rough sleeping, and was closely monitored by council officers and the police, while extensive inquiries into the ownership of the land were carried out.
During the investigation, 10 rough sleepers were removed by officers and, where appropriate, were assessed by the Thames Reach homelessness charity and LGC Drug and Alcohol Service.
Councillor Forhad Hussain, cabinet member for crime and antisocial behaviour, said: “This case highlights the dedication of our team, who showed determination in tracking down,and finally forcing the owners to deal with the problems at the site.”
Last month, the London Borough of Bromley completed a deal to buy a notorious waste dump after the Environment Agency had previously ruled it was the site owner’s responsibility to clear.
Now the deal is complete, the council says work to remove the waste will start shortly, following several weeks of logistical planning by its waste contractor, Veolia.