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Lincolnshire County Council hopes to get a court order to remove an abandoned trailer of rotting rubbish in Lincoln – if it can’t find the deceased owner’s relatives.

The trailer, described by the county council, as a “wooden caravan-like structure” has been parked on Ripon Street for two years or longer according to a local resident.

The county council stuck a notice letter to the trailer in March this year, stating it was an obstruction to the highway and needs removing within 28 days, which has still not been done. However, commenters on The Lincolnite’s story earlier this week flagged up that the trailer’s owner had died, including one person who said she’d “reported it to the council after the family cleared his flat out”.

The Lincolnite contacted the county council to ask for clarification on the situation and a spokesperson said: “We’re still looking for the current owner’s family and alongside that we’re hoping to secure a court order to allow us to move it, should no living relatives be found.”

Karen Cassar, assistant director for highways at LCC, previously said the council was trying to find out who now owns the trailer to avoid local taxpayers having to pick up the bill for moving it.

She said: “We appreciate this is a nuisance for local residents. We want to make sure as much of your money as possible goes into maintaining and improving our roads.”

The council has not set an exact deadline in its search for the owner’s family, but once the court order comes through a more accurate timeline will be known.

The trailer is full of rotting rubbish. | Photo: Submitted

A notice from the county council was stuck to the trailer stating that it needs removed within 28 days, but this was back in March 2021. | Photo: Submitted

This comes after a concerned Lincoln resident contacted The Lincolnite calling on the county council to take action, saying he has never seen the area so filthy in more than half a century.

And the trailer full of rotting rubbish isn’t the only issue on Ripon Street, as there also appears to be a problem with fly-tipping and overgrown weeds, which City of Lincoln Council says it tackling.

The weed spraying programme is ongoing with Ripon Street scheduled to be sprayed in the next two weeks.

The city council added that Ripon Street and that general area is ‘subject to a significant amount of fly tipping, which is why we try to check and clear all streets around there at least weekly’.

Three-quarters of the 600 complaints over the past six years about an “horrendous stench” from a Skellingthorpe factory were sent to North Kesteven District Council in 2021, a Freedom of Information request by The Lincolnite has revealed.

It comes as residents continue to demand action about the problem plaguing the village, particularly on Jerusalem Road, where people have had to endure smell and noise coming from the near by A Hughes & Son rendering plant for several years.

Residents have been raising the issue for years, with The Lincolnite repeatedly pressing the council and the factory for answers. Two residents recently said the smell did improve for a while, but the problem certainly hasn’t gone away.

A Freedom of Information request sent to the district council, asked for the number of complaints between the start of 2015 and August, 9 2021. Data between August 9 and September 15 was later provided by the council.

There have been a total of 600 complaints between the start of 2015 and September 15. Of these, 452 were during 2021, which represents 75.3%.

The original data showed 353 complaints were received between the start of 2015 and August 9 this year. The figure then shot up by 192 in the short space of time between August 9 and August 17, and up another 55 by September 15.

A map created by a resident, with responses from more than 70 people, to visualise the spread of the smell.

The Lincolnite also asked, via the Freedom of Information request, what action has been taken by the council against site owners Leo Group, and A Hughes & Son, during this time, including any fines and written warnings.

No action has been taken against Leo Group, while environmental permit holder A Hughes & Son got a formal written warning in relation to odour emission on August 3 this year. On the same date, a formal written warning in relation to particulate emission was issued to the company.

Then on August 20, a Request for Information Notice was issued. The council says the company has supplied the detailed information required by the council and within the prescribed timescale.

The factory is located on Jerusalem Road in Skellingthorpe. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The council said: “Given the substantial volume of information submitted, this needs to be reviewed which will take some time. The aim of the exercise is to fully understand the procedures in place on site and assess these in accordance with industry guidance.”

The Lincolnite contacted A Hughes & Son for a comment, but there was no response at the time of publication.

One resident said black smoke can be seen every day in Jerusalem Road.

Resident Joff Burr said: “We had weeks with no smell, even recently when we had all that sun, but this week it is back. It felt like since the last Lincolnite story the smell went away, but now it is back again. They [the factory] must have some sort of control over it.”

Fellow Skellingthorpe resident David Crockatt said: “It has been better recently. We had last weekend when it was bad for a few hours, then it improved slightly, but we are still trying to put more pressure on the district council about this issue.”

Meanwhile, a resident, who wished to remain anonymous, created a map from more than 70 responses, to visualise the spread of the smell the factory produces, saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” – view the map here.

The rendering plant is located on Jerusalem Road in Skellingthorpe. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

In February this year, plans were unanimously approved to demolish the existing animal by-products processing plant and build a new processing plant at the farm.

Meanwhile, we reported in May Lincolnshire County Council will consider a re-submitted application for a controversial animal rendering plant in nearby Norton Disney.

Lincoln Proteins Ltd resubmitted its planning application for the facility at Villa Farm in Folly Lane after it was previously refused in February 2020 amid concerns over heritage and location. Previous plans also prompted protests by residents who campaigned to “say no to the stink”.

Afghan refugees are being accommodated at two hotels in Grantham, as Lincolnshire councils work with the Home Office to allocate permanent homes to as many as possible in the future.

Lincolnshire has welcomed a number of Afghan families to the county as part of the first phase approach to the Home Office’s resettlement programme.

Initially, these evacuated families have arrived in South Kesteven, where they are being supported in two Home Office-appointed bridging hotels whilst awaiting onward location around the country.

British Forces from Afghanistan and refugees are staying at the Stoke Rochford Hotel, pictured on September 14. | Photo: R S Mortiss

The two hotels are The Urban Hotel and Stoke Rochford Hall, both in Grantham, which has caused issues with bookings and events due to take place.

They are two of the 74 accommodation units made available across the UK by the Home Office as it works towards welcoming and supporting 7,000 people who worked to assist the UK’s mission in Afghanistan.

Additionally, the UK is committed to helping a further 5,000 vulnerable refugees in the first year.

The hotels are being used by the Home Office as temporary transit accommodation as the families’ needs are assessed and more permanent accommodation is found elsewhere within the UK, with all costs to be met by the government.

Councillor Richard Wright, Leader of North Kesteven District Council, said a statement on behalf of all Lincolnshire councils:

“As the Lincolnshire councils work collaboratively to provide wellbeing and wrap-around care, there is recognition of how traumatic the process of leaving their homeland has been and the commitment that the UK Government has made to support these families.

“We will not be detailing how many families there are or where they may ultimately be settling because of the need to protect their privacy and wellbeing.

“Through our coordinated regional partnership, provision is being made for targeted support with housing, education, healthcare and essential needs in establishing a life in this country.

“The outpouring of support from residents across the county who want to help or donate items to support Afghan families has been incredible, but it is important to emphasise that local councils, associated services and hotels are not currently able to accept direct donations of any kind on behalf of Afghan families.”

Whilst a local co-ordination function is being established, anyone wanting to help can find out more here, while financial donations can be made through one of the official appeals currently in operations such as the British Red Cross.

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