Bellway Homes gives update on when smouldering waste is being cleared

Contaminated waste <i>(Image: Susan Jamson)</i>
Contaminated waste (Image: Susan Jamson)

BELLWAY Homes has given an update on when its smouldering waste will be cleared from the site.

The contaminated waste, which the housing developer says was fly-tipped, is expected to be cleared from Friday, May 23 until Monday, June 3.

The fire started on Thursday, April 25 in Amersham Road, Hazlemere, spewing a 'toxic' smelling smoke for 28 days, leading to residents feeling sick, suffering headaches, choking and bad asthma.

Residents have been worried about their health having inhaled the smoke for over a fortnight, demanding action from the Environment Agency, Bucks Council.

In a letter seen by the Free Press, Bellway Homes has provided an update to residents.

It says: "On visiting the site, it was confirmed that a large amount of waste had been illegally fly-tipped and set alight. Further inspections established that the site was unlawfully accessed by removing the large concrete barriers that were blocking entry.

"Following advice from Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, we instructed contractors to attend the site to turn the soil on Friday 26th April, to further dampen any remnants of the fire left by the Fire Service.

"Additional barriers were also installed on the same day and the concrete blocks on each site entrance were reinstated to help prevent further unauthorised access to the site.

"We also notified the Environment Agency and Buckinghamshire Council's Environmental Health team, who attended the site on Tuesday 2nd May. In response to the EA's request that testing of the contents of the fly-tipped material be carried out ahead of any removal works, a third party waste transfer contractor attended the site on Thursday 9th May to take test samples. We have since been eagerly awaiting results of those tests so that our contractor can commence the safe removal of the fly-tipped material and clearance work as soon as possible.

"Having been provided assurance that the detailed results will be confirmed this week, which we will of course share with the relevant authorities as appropriate, our contractor is now preparing to commence this work on Friday 24th May. This work is expected to be completed by Monday 3rd June. Further inspections of the secure boundaries to the site are also being carried out to provide further safeguarding against future incidents and further unauthorised access.

"Since the planning application for the site gained resolution to grant permission in November 2023, we have been working closely with Buckinghamshire Council on this Section 106 Agreement with a view to starting on site as soon as possible. The start of the works on site would provide the best means of securing the site against future incidents and unauthorised access, as well as helping to deliver much-needed new homes, and we are continuing to work with the Planning Officer at Buckinghamshire Council to ensure that this is progressed at pace.

"The health and wellbeing of local residents remains our priority and we will continue to work with the relevant authorities as this work is progressed over the coming weeks and support them in their investigations as appropriate."