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Illegal waste fires outside Clenchwarton lead to concern from councillors Paul Kunes and Alex Kemp





A series of illegal burnings on West Norfolk farmland have led to a worried question: “Is it toxic?”

The blazes, which have been started on land outside Clenchwarton, were particularly prevalent in the lead-up to Christmas last week – and two councillors for the area have raised their concerns about the potential impact.

With strong winds prevalent in recent days, smoke has been blowing into the village – and there are worries that little can be done to stop the offending party.

A waste fire in the area from the start of November
A waste fire in the area from the start of November

However, it is not only a recent problem – villagers are reported to have been frustrated for a number of months.

Cllr Paul Kunes represents the Terrington Ward on West Norfolk Council, but the land where the fires have been taking place falls under his jurisdiction.

He said: “I keep informing the Environment Agency on a daily basis but they seem powerless to do anything.

A burning taking place on Christmas Eve
A burning taking place on Christmas Eve

“I am inundated with complaints from local people who are concerned about what is being burned, and is it toxic?”

Cllr Kunes was also frustrated by the fact that the fires were still taking place on Christmas Eve.

Cllr Alex Kemp, who represents Clenchwarton on Norfolk County Council, is equally worried about the fumes.

“Illegal fires are a terrible health hazard to residents in Clenchwarton,” she said.

“If people understood the harm they are causing, they wouldn't do it. Polluted air particulates can enter people's lungs and trigger asthma.

“Cases of illegal burning should be reported to the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60.”

Burning waste releases gases, which can be harmful depending on the materials being burnt.

Hazardous smoke can occur when plastic, paints, rubbers, oils, vehicles and tyres are burned.

At this stage, the exact materials being disposed of outside Clenchwarton have not been confirmed.

An Environment Agency spokesperson told the Lynn News: “We are continuing to investigate concerns about a waste site in Clenchwharton near Lynn.

“We’d ask anyone who has any more information about the site that could help our enquiries to contact our incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.”



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