Ultimatum over fire-ravaged Flintshire site

Reporter:

Hayley Collins and Andrew Boyd

THE last remains of a recycling plant gutted by a huge inferno must be removed by today.

Flintshire Council has served an enforcement notice on West Pennine Recycling for them to clear the waste left at their unit on Spencer Industrial Estate, Buckley, in the wake of the remains of the largely destroyed building being pulled down last week.

The developments come as fire investigators reveal they will never know what caused the huge blaze on September 19.

A Flintshire Council spokesman said: “If it isn’t removed [by today] we will make arrangements in conjunction with the Environment Agency to remove the waste and the company will be charged for the cost of removal.”

Fenced off from other users of the industrial estate, the piles of waste are the last remaining sign of the recycling plant. North Wales Fire and Rescue have closed their investigation into the cause of the blaze after deeming it “impossible”.

Official spokesman Tracey Williams said: It became clear that we would never know the cause of the incident because there was such a lot of damage to the plant.

“Unfortunately it’s going to be one of those that we never know how it started.”

The news that the waste must be removed from the industrial estate has been welcomed by other businesses on the industrial estate. Zena Spencer, of Spencer Industrial that manages the industrial estate, has given her backing to the council’s cause of action.

She said: “I hope the enforcement order is followed through and the rubbish is removed for the good of the site.

“It looks an eyesore and we have environmental concerns about what is left.”

A business directly affected by the blaze was the adjacent JDM Autobodies, which was forced to temporarily close after suffering thousands of pounds worth of fire damage.

Owner Damien Shaw said: “We were out of action for about a week because of the fire and it left us with a lot of damage.

“We are now back towards being as normal as possible but it has not been easy.
“All this has all been because of the fire that night and you only have to look next door to see how severe the fire was.”

The blaze broke out at about 11pm on September 19 and more than 40 firefighters from 10 fire crews battled into the night to bring the raging inferno under control.

Nearby residents were warned to keep their windows and doors closed as acrid smoke bellowed into the atmosphere.

Fire crews were forced to remain at the scene for days as the ashes continued to smoulder. The building, which was used to recycle industrial and household materials such as timber and stone, was reduced to ashes.

Management of West Pennine Skip Hire were unavailable for comment.

See full story in the Leader

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