A legal wrangle over the future of an abandoned waste tip site at Lockwood goes on.

A judge today heard arguments over the clean up of the former Hunters Group tip in Queens Mill Road.

One of those who appeared at Huddersfield County Court was Sam Hunter, who previously operated the site.

Last month the tip burst into flames and firefighters are still returning regularly to check on it.

Kirklees Council claims excessive waste was dumped on the site, breaching permissions.

The local authority brought a case to court with Mr Hunter accused of breaching an injunction over the operation of the site.

Video thumbnail, Sam Hunter gives Examiner reporter the V sign as he enters court
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There is now a dispute over who is responsible for the clean up and an investigation is underway over the ownership of the site, which has been split into two parts.

Kirklees Council has set aside an amount of taxpayers’ money to pay for the clean up and wants to claim it back from whoever is responsible.

The council has refused to say how much taxpayers’ cash is at risk.

Adjourning the case for a month, District Judge Claire Jackson said: “It is with a great deal of reluctance that I adjourn this matter.

“I cannot imagine the effect this smoking rubbish is having on local residents.”

She added: “First the fire needs to put out and the site cleared, and if the council is to clean it up somebody has to pay for that.

“I don’t think it’s right that the taxpayers of Kirklees should pay for that.”

When Mr Hunter arrived at court he was asked by an Examiner reporter if he was going to clean up the mess.

His response was a two-fingered gesture.