Residents were disgusted after travellers left a mountain of rubbish on private land in Stanmore.
Over a month later, the eye sore still hasn’t been cleared.
Notting Hill Genesis, who has owned the Anmer Lodge site since 2014 believes it will cost £92,000 to clear all of the estimated 15 tonne pile of rubbish that was left abandoned.
Travellers broke into the site on March 2 after moving a concrete bollard from the adjoining Lidl supermarket car park.
They stayed there in eight caravans for just over a week before being moved on, leaving a trail of destruction behind them.
Notting Hill Genesis acquired the land from Harrow Council in 2014 and has been earmarked for a redevelopment of 120 homes and a Marks and Spencers food store.
Councillor Marilyn Ashton told StanmoreNews that the community is upset about the fly-tipping.
She said: “It’s so awful. We [Harrow Council] don’t own the land and the owners have been saddled with the cost. They must clear it – it’s a health hazard.
“I do think we should have not sold the land and we should have leased it as we don’t have much control. We [Harrow Council] gave Notting Hill Genesis planning permission, which I did object to, as there’s far too much planned on the site.
“The roads around it are very narrow and tight but Notting Hill, having got planning permission in 2014, have done nothing on it for years. When they knocked the building down and built the surface level parking it was obvious for someone to pop themselves on it. Loads are upset and I am too.”
A local Romanian man, who wished to be kept anonymous, spoke to the MailOnline. He said a security guard was at the site with a dog to prevent anyone from entering. He also claimed four puppies were found abandoned there.
John Ryan said: “Homeowners shouldn’t allow unlicensed waste removers to take away their rubbish for cheap cash prices, both as bad as each other in my opinion. You can hire a skip for a couple of hundred quid. When someone knocks on your door without a licence to remove rubbish you should assume the outcome.”
Lynne Kaye of The Stanmore Society said it was “terrible” how much Notting Hill Genesis have had to cough up.
She added: “I haven’t seen it myself, but people were quite horrified. They [travellers] left everything behind and it’s going to cost a small fortune to fix.
“We don’t know if Marks and Spencer are even going to go in there yet. Residents have complained to the council, the police and Bob Blackman to sort this.”
Cllr Ashton also highlighted that Notting Hill Genesis should start developing the land sooner rather than later.
She added: “I can get why this has happened – it was like a massive squalid fly-tip there was mattresses, building materials and broken up furniture.
“It was all total and utter rubbish.
“I am disappointed, and it should’ve been cleared by now. They had planning permission in 2014 and made this flat land.
“If they’re doing this development, why don’t they just do it. The site is developable, and you have to be careful what goes on it. It’s about time they got on with it.”
MP for Harrow East, Bob Blackman tweeted: “The devastation at the Anmer Lodge site in Stanmore following disgraceful illegal dumping by travellers. This site is designated for much needed housing and a Marks and Spencer food store.
“The contaminated waste will cost a fortune to clear this privately owned land.”
A spokesperson for Notting Hill Genesis said: “We are in the process of procuring a contractor to carry out the work, but we expect clearance of the site to begin within the next two weeks.
“This has made no change to the planned schedule at Anmer Lodge. We are currently waiting for a planning condition to be agreed, relating to a temporary car park. Once that has been agreed we can clear the existing car park and begin the first phase.”
How do you feel about what’s happened? Email your thoughts to email@example.com
Photo courtesy of Peter Dale