‘Council storage space in Leighton Buzzard is an eyesore’

A Leighton Buzzard man claims he is fed up with the town council storing materials on a site near Vandyke Road and creating an “eyesore” for residents.

Tuesday, 22nd January 2019, 5:00 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 5:18 pm
The material stored at the town councils Vandyke Road site. Credit: Neil Eggleton.

Neil Eggleton, 47, has complained to Leighton-Linslade Town Council after he became fed up of them “dumping” materials on a parcel of land that is located next to the former driving test centre.

The land is owned by the town council and is a place where it temporarily stores unusable inert material and compostable material from its cemetery-related activities. However, Neil believes the site is “untidy” and “unattractive” to residents and passers-by.

He claims: “They have been doing it for a while now but more recently since Christmas. It just looks like big piles of soil and off cuts of wood have been chucked over.

“I visit the cemetery and there are four big bins there which are never full; why can’t they use them or have a skip at the graveyard instead?”

A town council spokesman, said: “We will where possible recycle or reuse material with all useable top soil for example being reused across our ‘Parks and Open Spaces’ assets.

“We adopt a similar process for our green arisings albeit they are collected and recycled into compost.

“The town council activities are classed as commercial, so we are not able to use the facilities of the Household Waste Recycling Centre (tidy tip) on Shenley Hill Road meaning we are forced to use the nearest and most appropriate town facility to support the cemetery function. This reduces transportation time, costs and carbon footprint.

“The parcel of land is next door to the former driving test centre and has been used in the same way since it was transferred to the Town Council ownership in December 2013. The Town Council has always temporarily stored un-usable inert material and compostable material resulting from our cemetery related activities. Historically, these used to be stored at the top end of the new cemetery extension which is now activity being used for interments and is no longer deemed to be a suitable location.

“The four 1100 wheelie bins are solely used to manage the amount of litter and compostable material created from the cemetery visitors and not resulting from any of our maintenance activities.

“It is believed that a large open skip will attract fly-tripping or illegal waste dumping.

“The subsoil is stored until we have enough to get it removed in bulk which is the most cost effective way of removing unusable low quality soil. Normally we get between 12-15 wheelbarrows of unusable soil per double depth interment and half this for a single interment.

“A large roll on roll off 35-40 yard skip would be required to facilitate the suggestion [of a skip], which would be too big for the available space and would block access and would take up valuable parking spaces and would be considerably more expensive.

“Wherever possible, the Town Council ensures that we reuse, reduce, and recycle all materials.

“Collections of both un-usable inert material and compostable material happens every two to three months.

“The compostable material is taken to a site near Toddington and is turned into compost and the soil is taken to a site near Heath and Reach where it is screened and mixed with other soils to be reused as low grade soil.

“As part of our on-going review of services, improvements to the way we store material at the site will be considered.”