‘They’ve been a nuisance ever since they’ve been here’, says pub owner Sam Watt.

Sam’s pub, The Star Inn, is one of the Albert Street businesses to be blighted by their ‘rogue’ ex-neighbour Hunter Group.

The waste disposal business formerly known as Hunter’s- run by 25-year-old Sam Hunter - caught fire for the second time on Thursday night.

Sam Watt has been awake all night worrying about the business and home she’s owned for 15 years.

At around 7pm on Thursday police told her to evacuate the pub as an inferno ignited in rubbish left on the Queens Mill Road site. The cause is still unknown.

She picked up her dog and went to sleep at an employee’s house – not that she got any rest.

Fire on former Hunter Group site. Sam Watt of The Star Inn

It wasn’t the first time Hunter Group – and what remains of its former Lockwood site – has caused her misery.

The stench of rotting waste, and the flies and rodents it has attracted, has put customers off and on warm summer nights she’s been forced to sleep with the windows closed.

Sam believes the fire would never have happened had Hunter Group done its job.

She says: “I’m tired, fed up and worried.

“I’m angry because they haven’t done what they were supposed to do.

Video thumbnail, Fire at Hunters Group site (18 Aug)
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“I can’t have the windows of my pub open.

“We’ve seen rats and flies shooting about and this could have been prevented if they’d adhered to the rules of waste disposal.” On Queens Mills Lane the acrid pong from burning plastic is impossible to ignore.

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As firefighters battle to control the smouldering heap – they reckon it’ll take a few more days – rancid brown water inundates the street dragging chunks of charred waste as a lone fireman battles to stop the drains getting blocked.

The site is believed to have been sold to an undisclosed owner.

Last week the Environment Agency said: “We are continuing to investigate the waste site known as Hunter’s in Huddersfield. The site has been secured while the operation is inactive. However, we are in contact with the owner of Sam H Services and the landowner regarding their environmental responsibilities and the future management of the waste on the site.

“We are also continuing our investigations into the activities of the previous permit holder.”

Next door to the site is glass manufacturer Novaglaze.

Video thumbnail, Excavator at former Hunters waste tip
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Manager Steve Rushworth is furious about his former neighbour but he’s more concerned about the people living a stone’s throw from the former Hunter Group site.

Fire on former Hunter Group site. Steve Rushworth of Novaglaze

Steve says: “I really feel for the people that live round here. I feel for the families that live above that site.

“Hunter Group has caused a lot of mayhem and trouble.

“The pollution that people will be inhaling can’t be good for the children and old people living there.”

Lockwood tip fire: Date set for Kirklees Council court action against Hunter Group

He adds: “It’s a bit of a joke.”

Just across the River Holme from the former Hunter site is car repair firm Greenwoods Victoria Garage.

Owner Ian Roper has had to send a mechanic home today who was sick after inhaling smoke from the blaze.

Fire on former Hunter Group site. Ian Roper of Greenwoods Victoria Garage

He says: “I’ve had problems with Hunter’s for three years.

“At the end of the day who’s going to pick up the bill for this?”

He adds: “They’ve been irresponsible, arrogant and unprofessional.”