We’ve been working with the Environment Agency and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to deal with a number of fires at the former Hunter Group waste site. The site is located on Queens Mill Road, Lockwood.
After gaining permission from the Environment Agency, we are taking steps to remove waste from the site. This will allow the fire brigade to gain access to the seat of the current fire. This will reduce the risk to business, property and residents.
All other avenues to tackle the fire have been explored. Moving the waste has been identified as the only viable option due to the site geography and high volume of waste on the site.
We will also remove the waste that was moved to the access road when we created an initial firebreak on the 19 to 21 August.
The removal of the waste, to get at the fire, is expected to take a number of weeks. There is still a risk of further fires whilst the work is carried out.
Public Health England’s advice to those affected by smoke is:
“Residents should stay indoors as much as possible and keep doors and windows closed. If you need to be outdoors, you should avoid areas affected by smoke or ash if possible or limit the amount of time you spend in such areas.
Motorists who have to travel through the smoke should keep car windows closed, turn off air conditioning and keep their air vents closed.
Anyone experiencing respiratory symptoms should contact their GP or ring NHS 111 for advice.
Like any working site there are hazards and hidden dangers on a waste site and should not be accessed by the public at any time.”
More about what is taking place at the waste site
We are continuing to pursue legal action against the site operators. The court hearing is on 23 September 2016.
The Environment Agency has suspended the permit and is pursuing the current director of the company over the breaches of permit conditions. Investigations are also continuing into the previous operators over past operations at the site.
The Environment Agency will continue to assess the environmental impact of the fire on the local environment, including the risk of fire water discharge into nearby River Holme.
The cost of removing the waste is not known at this time but the council will look to recover all their costs.