Residents’ fury put to waste over dumping

Damhead residents at Clippens Yard
Damhead residents at Clippens Yard

Residents in Damhead are up in arms at the waste which still remains in a local yard despite the council asking the land owner to clear it.

In October last year Penicuik man James Cunningham pled guilty to dumping controlled waste at Clippens Yards, Straiton Road, Loanhead, behind the KFC restaurant. The waste was dumped there until 2011 when he vacated the land.

He was sentenced to a community payback order of 180 hours after a site investigation by SEPA found that waste was being deposited and kept there without the required permissions.

However, despite notices from Midlothian Council, the waste still remains on the land, which has been under different ownership since 2011. The council’s latest enforcement notice ended in December and has now been extended to next month.

Mary Begbie is one of the angry local residents furious that the huge pile of waste is still there.

She said: “A number of years ago the stuff got dumped.

“But the point being is that the waste is still there now.

“The main problem is that nobody knows what is in there.

“The owner of the land is having nothing to do with it.

“My major concern is not so much the eyesore. It’s that it’s illegally dumped so it should be moved.”

And Mrs Begbie is angry that the local authority has not done more to resolve the issue.

She said:“The council has got a responsibility to the people of Midlothian. But the responses I have got from them are quite weak. It was never monitored as far as I’m aware.

“Some of the waste has been removed but there is huge amounts of it still there.

“It needs to be addressed.”

The current land owner at Clippens Yard, Nick Gibsone, declined the opportunity to comment.