Landowner's �250k cost of clearing tyres

ONE of the region's most prominent landowners will have to pay more than �250,000 to clear away a mountain of old tyres dumped illegally on his land.

Laura Bennett

ONE of the region's most prominent landowners will have to pay more than �250,000 to clear away a mountain of old tyres dumped illegally on his land.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council has just issued proceedings against the Elveden Estate which owns the land at Little Heath in Barnham, near Bury St Edmunds, where an estimated 1million tyres were originally dumped next to a World War Two military museum.

The legal move by the council alleges that the 23,000-acre estate, which belongs to Lord Iveagh, who is a member of the wealthy Guinness family, has so far failed to comply with an enforcement notice originally issued in 2004.

The original notice from the council claimed the tyres were a blight on the landscape and a “serious threat” to the environment in the surrounding countryside.

But the estate's manager claimed that almost two-thirds of the tyres had already been baled and carted away for use as a noise-deadening barrier near RAF Lakenheath.

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Jim Rudderham said: “We are still working to clear the site and we have obtained all the necessary permissions to bale and move the tyres. There were originally more than a million of them and it is an extremely time-consuming and expensive operation.

“We don't know yet what the final bill will be but it will be well in excess of a quarter of a million pounds.

“Like any form of fly-tipping it is the responsibility of the landowners to clear the mess up and unfortunately there is little chance of getting the company that dumped them to pay up.”

More than 100,000 were removed after initial action was taken by the council, but now the authority has got tough and ordered the removal of the rest claiming that “satisfactory progress” had not been made to rid the tyres from the Barnham site.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said that the tyres had been bailed up and were being taken away for use in local building projects.

In 2002 businessman Timothy Phillips, who ran a tyre recycling business in Lakenheath, was jailed for two months after being convicted of operating without a waste management licence and dumping tyres on several sites in East Anglia sites, including Barnham.