Council officers are doing all they can to determine who is responsible for a mountain of stinking rubbish at an abandoned waste site in Huddersfield, according to a senior councillor.

Kirklees Council and the Environment Agency are carrying out investigations into the site in Lockwood which had been run by skip hire company Hunter Group.

The site, off Queens Mill Road, has now been abandoned.

A contractor removes portable toilets as a BBC news crew looks on
A contractor removes portable toilets as a BBC news crew looks on

Today there was no-one on site apart from a man who was collecting two portable toilets on behalf of his father's company which supplied the loos to the Hunter Group.

A BBC news crew and an Examiner reporter arrived as the portable toilets were being loaded up.

The front gate at the site was insecure and metal fences designed to keep people out had fallen down. There is nothing to stop children getting into the compound.

The smell was overpowering and there were lots of flies buzzing around the waste, which included household rubbish, carpets, timber, wire and shredded material.

The rubbish - which must amount to hundreds of tonnes - is rotting away, causing a terrible strench.

It was revealed six months ago that the Hunter Group could face a criminal prosecution unless they clean up their act.

There have been numerous complaints about the noise, the smells and uncollected skips.

Video thumbnail, Rubbish mountain at Hunter Group site
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Both Kirklees Council and the Environment Agency are considering court action against Hunter Group over the Lockwood site.

Local councillor Andrew Cooper agreed that the site posed a danger to children and wildlife.

He said officers were working hard to pursue those responsible.

Fences at the Queens Mill Road site are no longer secure
Fences at the Queens Mill Road site are no longer secure

Cllr Cooper described those responsible for the waste as a "rogue" company without a social conscience and with no respect for the law.

He said on-site safety issues had been reported to the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency was also involved.

"I am quite confident that council officers are doing everything they can. If we can get the people responsible for the site to clean it up, it will be there costs. If the council ends up sifting it, it could be a significant cost and that is less money for services."

He added: "It is important to get the people responsible to clear it up. I think council officers are working as hard as they can to resolve the problem for the public good."

Employees of nearby businesses said they were disgusted by the actions of the site's former operator.

Tony Hamilton, who works at a nearby glass firm, said: "The packed up pretty sharpish and moved. I don't know how they have got away with it to be honest. It's horrendous. They need to get it moved and take them to court."

No-one was available to comment from Hunter Group.

A spokesman had previously said that the Huddersfield business had been sold in June. But he declined to say who the buyers were.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “The Environment Agency, along with Kirklees Council, are planning to meet with the new business owner, and we are continuing to investigate issues in relation to actions under the previous ownership.”

A spokesman for Kirklees Council said: “The Council has led on taking legal action against the individuals and companies associated with the site and currently has an interim injunction in force to clean up the site following a recent court hearing.

“The situation has become more complex as the control of the site has changed during this process but we will continue with our proceedings to ensure those responsible are compelled to return the site to an acceptable state


“We continue to work closely with the Health and Safety Executive and Environment Agency to support further actions to both improve the safety of the site and ensure its operation is legally compliant.”