Fly tipping problem becoming tyre-some

Tyres have been dumped over the car park wall opposite Soutra Aisle.
Tyres have been dumped over the car park wall opposite Soutra Aisle.

Confusion surrounds an on-going fly tipping issue at the car park of a local tourist attraction, with hundreds of tyres scattered around.

The issue was raised by Sunderland man Peter White (60), who regularly stops at the Soutra Aisle car park off the B6368 while on trips to the Highlands.

He said: “It’s getting worse as nobody clears it away. There are piles of tyres and all sorts including lawnmowers dumped there.

“I have written for a number of years to Midlothian Council asking them to clear it but they wouldn’t respond to any of my requests.

“That went on for quite a while so I made a complaint against the council to the ombudsman and that got through to them.

“The council then offered to take the rubbish away but the landlord refused.

“I was there recently and the tyres were spilling into the car park. If someone decided to take a light to it it would take that forest out.

“It’s a blight on the landscape. You wouldn’t find this in the car park of Stonehenge. I don’t think visitors to Soutra Aisle should find it blighted by fly tipping.”

Dr Brian Moffat of Soutra Aisle said: “These tyres have been there for two or three years now. Some of these tyres are from really big heavy goods vehicles and would be really hard to move.

“I would reckon there are well over 200 tyres. They are all around the perimeter of the car park. I have had discussions with the council but never been able to get them moved.

“A lot of people comment that it’s unsightly.

“It’s a blight on this historical site.”

A Midlothian Council spokesman said: “We have offered the landowner a service which involves us supplying them with a box, we then take the box to our contractor for disposal, and we give a discounted rate. This has been declined.”

However, it is not clear who owns the ground.

Landowners in the area, Dere Street Farm and Soutra Mains Farm, deny any communication with the council and say the land is not theirs.

Because of the festive break, the council was unable to confirm the landowner.

Soutra Mains Farm owner George Russell said: “It’s the first I have known about it. We condone fly tipping and will co-operate with anybody to deal with it.”

Tim Bailey, of Dere Street Farm Soutra, said: “We have had no written correspondence or anything from the council.”