COMPLAINTS have been made about a "fly-tipping hotspot" at land that has been earmarked for more than 400 houses.

White goods and general household waste has been dumped at the former East Lancs Paper Mill site in Radcliffe.

Reports have also been made about fly-tipping near to Croft Lane and off Rectory Lane.

Eric Owen, chairman of Little Britain Angler's — a voluntary group working to protect the environment surrounding the River Irwell — claims the quantity of rubbish disposed of at the site has increased three-fold since last year.

Mr Owen said: "The fly-tipping at the East Lancs site has been there for more than one year and added to extensively over that time, including cannabis waste.

"The amount of rubbish there has trebled since this time last year. It is one of many fly-tipping hotspots in Radcliffe. It is a massive problem.

"CCTV was placed in the area but was not there for long.

"It is shocking that this matter is not being taken seriously. We need to have wardens back, catching the culprits of fly-tipping, littering and dog fouling.

"Prevention measures need to be put in place, and we need education in schools about the impact these crimes are having on our environment and people's wellbeing, not to mention the wildlife."

Bury Times: Household waste has been dumped on the former East Lancs Paper Mill site in Radcliffe. Picture, Little Britain Angler'sHousehold waste has been dumped on the former East Lancs Paper Mill site in Radcliffe. Picture, Little Britain Angler's

Mr Owen said he has reported the fly-tipping incident to Bury Council and to Homes England.

A spokeswoman for Homes England said: "We are aware of an issue with fly-tipping at this site and will be removing the waste from our land in the coming days. Our agent will also be meeting with Bury Council’s enforcement team to discuss the issue.”

The Bury Times understands that waste has been tipped on land owned by both Bury Council, near Cock Clod Street and Rectory Lane, and land owned by Homes England, off Croft Lane.

A spokesman for Bury Council said: "We have visited the site and there is some fly-tipping on the highway, mainly white goods and other household waste."

The council said that the rubbish would be removed by the end of this week.

Cllr Rhyse Cathcart, who represents Radcliffe East on Bury Council, said: "Fly-tipping is a criminal offence that is costing taxpayers money due to a small percentage of rogue traders who are illegally tipping waste.

"I am contacting Homes England to ask them as landowners to take action to clear up this mess and put measures in place to prevent it from happening.

"We have installed a number of CCTV cameras to cover hotspot areas in Radcliffe and environment officers will search mass fly-tipping for evidence of who has done this.

"We all need to work together to prevent fly-tipping. If you see anything, try to take a photo or video so that we have concrete evidence. We will always take action against offenders where we have evidence."

Cllr Cathcart also said he has raised the issue with Cllr Alan Quinn, cabinet member for the environment.

Plates, bin bags, plastic, a radiator, food wrappers and ventilation equipment typical of that used for cultivating cannabis farms is among the "mounting pile" of rubbish at the site of the former East Lancashire Paper Mill.

The mill was once Radcliffe's largest employer with a workforce of more than 1,200 people at its height. Founded in March 1860, East Lancashire Paper Mill Company Ltd was part-owned by the Seddon family who continued to run the site for nearly 100 years.

The mill closed in 2001 and was demolished in 2005. The site has laid vacant since then.

Bury Times: This new work space was opened at East Lancashire Paper Mill in October 1968This new work space was opened at East Lancashire Paper Mill in October 1968

In December 2018, initial plans to build up to 400 homes at the site of the former East Lancs Paper Mill were approved by the council's planning committee.

The proposals, which include access roads, relocating sport facilities and managing flood risk, were agreed in principle.

According to the government's housing agency which submitted the application alongside the council, 25 per cent of the development is due to be affordable.