THE OWNERS of the former Unipork factory site in Enniskillen claim they are unable to go on to their own property to clear the site of illegal waste dumped there by fly-tippers.
John Curran of family-owned property development company, Elm Grange, would not be drawn on the reasons why his staff cannot clear the site but, told the Herald “it is an ongoing issue, that the police and council are aware of.”
Mr Curran was responding to a query put to him by this newspaper about what he intended to do about the unsightly mess and health and environmental problems caused by ongoing illegal dumping on their property.
A resident of nearby Hillview has told the Herald how the derelict land beside her home has been used as a dump for everything from TVs and mattresses, to black bags of household rubbish for years and is now causing all manner of problems for her and her neighbours.
Linda Tummon is also frustrated by the lack of development at the dis-used site.
“There is hazardous waste that is bad for the environment,” Mrs Tummon said, “Recently, a mattress has been dumped and I know that underneath that, there is a TV and microwave which was dumped earlier.
“My neighbour watched a woman pull up in a jeep in the dead of the night and dump two bin bags,” a disgusted Mrs Tummon said, “People think it’s a free for all!”
Mrs Tummon said her calls to the Council have left her frustrated because she is told there is nothing they can do because the land is “privately owned”.
John Curran says he is actually aware of Mrs Tummon’s concerns but, his hands are tied by PSNI inaction.
He added that a previous attempt by Elm Grange to tidy up the site – which spans the Cornagrade and Irvinestown roads and backs on to Kilmacormick and Hillview – was abruptly stopped and he is waiting to hear from the PSNI when he would be allowed back to do the clean-up required.
Mr Curran stressed that his family and Elm Grange “are not ignoring the problem” of illegal waste at their development site.
“Do we want to annoy residents? Absolutely not,” Mr Curran said, “Do we want to get on with our business of developing the site? Yes, of course we do. All I can say is there is an ongoing issue which is extremely difficult to get resolved.”
Mrs Tummon added: “I see the mess every day when I get in and out of my car. Whoever has responsibility for clearing this site should get out from behind their computer screen and come up here and see for themselves what we’re living in.
“My sister visited from England and couldn’t believe what she saw. It’s embarrassing!
Mrs Tummon would like to stress that the problems she wants addressed are not to be confused with the annual bonfires built on the site by local kids.
“I want to make it clear that I have no problem with what the kids here have been doing for years, that’s just a bit of fun,” she stressed, “The problem is people pulling up in their cars and trailers and emptying their contents into the middle of the site.”
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council told the Herald: “A site inspection will be undertaken and if materials are evident again, the Council will investigate accordingly, and where possible, pursue the perpetrator. If this is not feasible then the Council will liaise with the landowner to arrange removal.”
A spokesperson for the PSNI said they will look into the circumstances relating to the prevention of the clearance work and revert back.
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