Residents have pleaded with the authorities to take tough action against a tip firm which has left them with a mountain of stinking rubbish near their homes.

The former Hunter Group tip in Queens Mill Road, Lockwood, appears to have been abandoned leaving local people furious.

Ownership of the site was said to have changed and the Environment Agency was working with the new owner to tackle the hundreds of tonnes of waste dumped there.

But now the tip has been left locked up for weeks and residents have repeatedly complained about foul smells, swarms of flies and rats.

Claire Robertson-Dwyer, of nearby Wood Terrace, said the number of flies around her home was “incredible.”

She is angry at the perceived lack of action and said: “The process of dealing with it is incredibly slow and long-winded. Any amount of complaining from Joe Public doesn’t seem to have made a difference.”

Video thumbnail, Claire Robertson-Dwyer on horror of living nr Hunter Group site
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Neighbour Jane Clarke, who has been complaining about smells for months, said: “I can’t understand why Kirklees allowed it to get so bad. They told me earlier this year they were monitoring it. All I want is for that rubbish to go.

“When you breathe in, you feel that it’s not going to be doing you any good.”

Last month the rotting rubbish heap caught fire and was smouldering deep inside for several days.

Firefighters from Huddersfield spent days at the site damping down to ensure a full-scale blaze didn’t erupt.

In February, 2010 a waste tip in Scout Hill near Ravensthorpe went up in flames and burned for a month.

Later two directors of a skip hire firm were jailed for breaching a licence on the amount of rubbish which could be tipped there. They had a 700 tonne limit but around 4,000 tonnes was dumped.

The firefighting and clean-up operation cost an estimated £400,000.

An excavator working on the Hunters tip site at Lockwood helping with the damping down by Huddersfield fire crews after the recent fire.

Meanwhile, the Lockwood site was previously believed to have been owned by Hunter Group, run by Sam Hunter. The Environment Agency has said ownership has changed but has not said who is now responsible though say they are in talks with “the owner of Sam H Services.”

A spokesman for 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.

Former Hunter Group skip hire premises, Queens Mill Road, Huddersfield
Former Hunter Group skip hire premises, Queens Mill Road, Huddersfield

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

A Kirklees Council spokesman said: “We are supporting the Environment Agency, who are the main regulators for the site, to try and resolve this very difficult and complex situation.”