Lockwood residents have described the horror of living near the former skip hire site off Queen's Mill Road.

Environment Agency officials are preparing to meet a company’s new boss who has responsibility for a mountain of rubbish at an abandoned waste site.

The agency and Kirklees Council are taking action to ensure tons of waste are cleared from the former Hunter Group skip hire site off Queens Mill Road at Lockwood.

Claire Robertson-Dwyer, of nearby Wood Terrace, said the rats in the street and the awful smells were intolerable.

She has been complaining about noise, smells and out-of-hours operating at the site for several years but she believes that the stench has worsened in recent months.

“The kids – aged four and 10 – have not been able to play outside. I can’t put washing out. The children have to hold their noses when they walk from the house to the car. The smell is really gagging and the pile of rubbish has just got higher and higher.”

Resident Gillian Cupples, of Orchard Street, said: “The smell is disgusting. I have seen rats and I have to shut my windows. The waste should be taken away far away from Huddersfield.”

The pile of rotting rubbish off Queens Mill Road, Lockwood
The pile of rotting rubbish off Queens Mill Road, Lockwood

The controversial Hunter Group recently left the site, saying it had sold the Huddersfield business in June.

A company spokesman previously declined to say who had bought the business but the Examiner can reveal that the previous owner of the waste permit was actually a company called Sam H Services Ltd.

Sam H Services is now owned by company director George Anderson who is now responsible for clearing up the site. Former director Sam Hunter has resigned, according to Companies House.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said its officials were preparing to meet the new director to remind him of his responsibilities in relation to the waste site.

Yesterday, no-one was available to comment from Hunter Group. Its listing on Companies House names George Anderson as “active” director and Sam Hunter as “resigned.”

Earlier this week Kirklees Council said it was taking action to get the rubbish cleared but the situation was “complex” because control of the site had changed hands.

Video thumbnail, Andrew Robinson reports from abandoned Hunter Site
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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.”

A single digger at the Hunter waste site

Yesterday some work was carried out at the site by a lone man in a digger. He said he reinstated fences to prevent children gaining access and was in the process of digging a ‘trial hole’ in the waste mountain to allow it to be inspected. He did not say who he was working for.