Trolleys and motorbikes left dumped in King’s Lynn river for ‘almost a year’
Several trolleys and motorbikes have been left dumped in the River Nar at South Lynn for almost a year, a councillor has claimed.
Alexandra Kemp, who represents South Lynn on Norfolk County Council, said she is disappointed that the waste she reported to the Environment Agency at the start of the year has still not been removed.
Miss Kemp said the fly-tipped waste is not only an eyesore, but is also affecting wildlife. She said: “I don’t think the Environment Agency have acted responsibly at all here.” But a spokeswoman for the Environment Agency said they had initially advised that it would be difficult for any party to remove the waste from the river due to a potential environmental risk.
Miss Kemp said she counted nine trolleys and two motorbikes in the River Nar in February, when she first reported the waste.
“They are just not interested, although they are a Government Agency and the river is their responsibility. This is affecting the wildlife close to the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and the lovely Nar Valley Way,” she added.
“It’s absolutely disgraceful that the Environmental Agency finally told me last week they cannot remove the fly-tipping from the Nar because the riverbed and possibly the silt had recently been so heavily polluted by eight tar tanks from the old muck works on Saddlebow Road, that it is too dangerous to send their team in.”
Miss Kemp said she was so concerned that she contacted Anglian Water to check that the town’s water supply was not at risk of contamination.
But she said West Norfolk Council told her that the suggestion of pollution was false, although there was a low level incident during the Nar Ouse Regeneration (NORA) works a year ago which is being monitored.
“It leaves questions to be answered about the role of remote government agencies that do not carry out their responsibilities to local areas.”
Miss Kemp said she is due to meet with borough council officials this week to put together a plan for the area and its fly-tipped waste.
The Environment Agency spokeswoman said: “We take a risk-based approach to undertaking works such as removing debris from a watercourse, we prioritise such works where the debris may be posing flood risk to people and property.”
If it is not posing a flood risk, the agency may not be funded for these works, she added.
“In these cases it is usually the responsibility of the riparian owner to remove debris. Our initial advice was that in this instance it would be challenging for any party to remove due to a potential environmental risk.
“However, since providing our initial advice, we have received further information which indicates that the risk should now have been mitigated.
“Once there is confirmation that risk has now been mitigated, the riparian owner should then be able to remove the debris. We will work closely with the borough council to keep them informed around this.”
A spokeswoman for West Norfolk Council said NORA, which is a brown field site contaminated from previous industrial use, had more than £8 million spent on it to decontaminate it prior to the NORA housing site being developed.
Historically, the main polluters of the land were the gas works, tar works and muck works.
She said the £8 million sum was mostly spent on digging out the contamination, which was replaced with clean material.
“Surveys indicated that the contamination from the tar and gas works had gone under the river and this residual contamination proved little or no risk to either human health or the environment,” she added.
“Councillor Kemp has indicated that the trolleys and motorbikes are located to the north of the site and are therefore outside of the area of the river where the residual contamination is present.”