‘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.

“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.

Time Line

Timeline: History of the Hunter Group

  1. March 2011

    Hunter Demolition (Yorkshire) Ltd is registered as a limited company.
    Its registered address is Branch Road, Batley.
    Its director is Sam Hunter, then aged 19.

  2. October 2012

    Company is renamed Sam H Services

  3. October 2014

    The company is renamed Hunter Group (Yorkshire) Ltd.
    It is registered at Boothroyd Lane, Dewsbury.

  4. March 2015

    According to Hunter Group's accounts, later filed at Companies House, it owed £365,028 and had assets valued at £195,661.

  5. June 2015

    Fire at Hunter Group's Bradford depot.

  6. July 2015

    Residents, who have hired skips from the company, begin complaining that their skips are not being collected.

  7. August 2015

    - Kirklees Council writes to Hunter Group ordering it to remove a giant skip from land off Marsh Lane, Shepley – or face enforcement action.

    - The Enviroment Agency begins its investigation into company after waste escapes from Lockwood site and falls into River Holme.

    - The company is blamed for damaging the pavement on Queens Mill Road with its trucks.

  8. December 2015

    Kirklees Council applies for an injunction against the company.

  9. March 2016

    Companies House threatens to strike Hunter Group (Yorkshire) Ltd off the register, although the threat is rescinded in May.

  10. June 21, 2016

    Sam Hunter resigns and George Louis Anderson becomes company director.

  11. June 23, 2016

    The company changes its registered address to Scotland Yard, Queens Mill Road, Lockwood.

  12. June/July 2016

    Hunter Group abandons the Lockwood site leaving a mountain of waste.

  13. July 2016

    A fire breaks out on the site caused by heat generated by compacted waste.

  14. August 18, 2016

    A large fire breaks out at the Queens Mill Road site which firefighters say may take a week to put out.

  15. August 19, 2016

    'Hunter Group were irresponsible, arrogant and unprofessional', say neighbouring firms

  16. August 24, 2016

    Lockwood tip fire: Blaze reignites as firemen battle to protect nearby Novaglaze premises

  17. August 28

    Lockwood tip fire: Kirklees Council sends in contractors to tackle smouldering waste mountain

  18. September 9, 2016

    This amazing drone footage shows the scale of the Hunter tip fire aftermath in Lockwood

  19. September 16, 2016

    Firms in Lockwood fear for health of employees over fumes from former Hunters tip

  20. September 21, 2016

    Kirklees Council to foot bill for Lockwood tip fire

  21. September 22, 2016

    "Unfair beyond words": Reactions as Kirklees plan for public to foot Lockwood tip clean up bill

  22. September 23, 2016

    WATCH: Sam Hunter delivers two-fingered gesture over Hunters tip site clear up

  23. September 23, 2016

    Lockwood tip fire: 'It's not right that council taxpayers should pay for clean up' says judge

  24. September 27, 2016

    Lockwood tip fire: Health fears unfounded, says council chief

  25. September 28, 2016

    Security guards have been brought in at Lockwood tip site

  26. September 28, 2016

    Lockwood tip fire: Blaze 'flares up' due to wind

  27. September 28, 2016

    Lockwood tip fire: Albert Street to close today as shocking pictures of rubbish mound revealed

  28. October 26, 2016

    Hunter's tip fire, 10 weeks on: What's happening at the Lockwood site?

  29. November 1, 2016

    Hunter's tip fire: Environment Agency revokes Sam H Services Ltd of permit

  30. November 14, 2016

    100 tonnes of waste shifted from burning Lockwood tip ... just 10,900 tonnes to go

  31. November 21, 2016

    We went inside the former Hunter's tip — here's what we found

  32. January 2, 2017

    How much longer before Lockwood tip site is cleared?

  33. January 9, 2017

    Hunter's tip fire: Judge adjourns latest court hearing

  34. January 20, 2017

    Former Hunters tip continues to burn but councillor says 'end is in sight'

  35. January 25, 2017

    Hunter's tip flares up again as big dig continues

  36. January 27, 2017

    Sam Hunter in court over illegally dumped waste - this is what happened to him

  37. February 4, 2017

    End finally in sight for the mountain of stinking, smouldering rubbish at former Hunter's tip

  38. February 7, 2017

    Spot the difference! Drone footage shows progress of clearing former Hunter's tip site

  39. February 10, 2017

    Weather hampering work to clear Lockwood waste site

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.

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.”