Criminals regularly dump waste illegally around the Gypsy Lane, Berkley Lane and Dark Lane areas of Berkley, just outside Frome, causing an ugly blight on the countryside.
Now the council is to renew its efforts to identify offenders and reduce the number of fly-tipping incidents in the Gypsy Lane/Dark Lane area.
The first step is to introduce an 18-month temporary road closure of Berkley Lane, from the north side of the Pines Residential Site to a point just before the railway bridge before Berkley village. The closure also includes Dark Lane, along its entire length to the junction of Pot Lane. The closure is necessary to stop the criminals accessing the quiet country lanes to dump their rubbish. The closure will come into force on Monday 11th April2016.
Meanwhile, Enforcement Officers will strengthen their patrols in a bid to capture evidence which can lead to successful prosecutions.
Ian Glover, Enforcement Officer at Mendip District Council, said: “By introducing this temporary road closure we will be making it as difficult as possible for fly-tippers to access this area and we will also be stepping up our surveillance to try to catch the culprits.
“I would ask local people to get in touch if they know who may be responsible and we can then investigate further.
“It’s also important that anyone paying a contractor or a ‘man with a van’ to take away their rubbish asks to see the contractor’s Waste Carrier Licence, to ensure the rubbish will be disposed of correctly. You have a legal duty of care to take reasonable steps to ensure a licensed waste carrier removes your waste or you risk ending up in court with a criminal record and a fine of up to £5,000.”
Residents living close to the Gypsy Lane, Berkley Lane and Dark Lane areas have been written to, advising them of the road closure. There will also be a programme of advanced signage on the affected roads and then permanent signs once the closure is in place.
Cllr Philip Ham, Portfolio Holder for Transformation, said: “The council is committed to tackling fly-tipping across the district and works hard to identify and prosecute offenders.
“I’m hopeful that this road closure, coupled with additional enforcement work, can make a real difference.
“I would like to apologise in advance to anyone living locally that is inconvenienced by this road closure, but I hope that you will understand that it forms a key part of our efforts to tackle these criminals.”