The following is a letter we have constructed not yet sent in response to letter from the Town council;
28th March 2015
Makings Land Fly Tipping and access
Dear Mr Michael Kennedy
We are in receipt of your letter dated 26th March 2015, we would like the following to be taken into consideration;
With the area in question that you describe as being part of the recreation ground, we want to ensure this is an accurate descriptive as our understanding from you/your colleagues is that you have regarded this area as waste ground being difficult to manage and inaccessible. Please confirm you’re descriptive as being part of the recreation ground?
Note: Your predecessor Jules Samuels in 2008 described this area as “at the edge” rather than “on the edge”, as described by yourself, i.e separate and outside rather than part of.
One of the main difficulties we have is that this area has been and continues to be used for fly tipping, we have reported this a number of times in the past, one of our reports to you over 10 years ago was the oil drum that you can see in your attached picture, at the same time we reported asbestos on the hillside, no cleaning action has occurred with any of these items.
We do concede and regret that a contractor we used last year had pushed the large tree stump on to Council property, this we became aware of after the contractor had finished work and apologise for this. I had tried to contact Gareth the gardener for the council on his mobile on a couple of occasions to let him know we are at present working on disposing of this item, however on the occasions I have tried I have not got through, on hind sight a letter should have been sent through to you.
Given the size of the tree stump it will take around a further 8 weeks to move, please confirm this is acceptable.
The land adjacent to our property at close has been owned by us since 2002, at the time of acquisition there was no boundary in existence between this land and the makings site common land, free access was available to this land and the public in general, the area commonly being used by children as an overspill from the Makings recreational site, additionally at the time and currently ongoing fly tipping is common over the embankment at the site of the Japanese Knot weed. Subsequently we erected a fence with a gate that has now been in place since 2002, and continued to be used as an access path through this area to Town and the recreational site. Note: From your photograph you can see we have replaced the fence, however the gate is the original one placed in 2002, some 13 years ago.
It is our position that we have had right of way through this land as we have done since before you registered your claim of the land at the Land registry and we assert our continued access to our right of way.
History to date
The Town Council were in favour of selling this area to ourselves (see full council committee notes 18th March 2008) this was agreeable by the Council we understand due to your difficulties with accessing this part of the land. The Council in our opinion, and as you are aware have reneged on this agreement. We understand we were the first and only party to offer a deal! This offer to purchase this land has not been withdrawn and still stands.
We have also had an informal agreement with your gardening department to remove dead trees that were threatening our property, one such tree falling through our fence, that we have removed at no expense to yourselves; indeed apart from your initial delay in dealing with the Japanese knot weed we have had amicable communication with yourselves.
In response to the paving slabs you refer to and have taken a picture of, these were the result of fly tipping over the past year, I simply made use of them and laid them roughly over the ground as can be seen, since they have been tipped and you clearly do not want them distributed as they are, please remove these along with all the other debris in this area, we reported to you over 10 years ago the oil barrel that can be seen in the photo, for your reference, this fly tip item is a barrel of unknown content and we were and are still concerned as to its contents. The content has undoubtedly contaminated the ground. Students we have seen, probably from the college occasionally make fires around this area and we believe it is Councils responsibility and health and safety requirements to clean and make this area safe, in previous email/letter sent to you I have described finding asbestos components that have also been fly tipped, we are particularly concerned by these as they were at a higher elevation than our house and the dust is likely to be blown around our property.
As required under the Health and Safety Executive directives once you are aware of a public health hazard you become personally responsible to ensure the corrective actions are taken to remove the hazardous substances. On this Council land it is a public hazard, this is furthermore a significant factor as you are aware that local children play in this area associated with the recreational site of Makings playing field.
If you are available it would be easier and in the interest of all to have a meeting to confirm the best way forward to resolve any issues.