Hawkinge rubbish dump closure prompts fly tipping fear

Campaigners fear an increase in fly tipping after a decision to close a Kent rubbish tip and recycling centre.

Kent County Council's cabinet approved closure of the Hawkinge site as part of a review of 19 centres.

"I can only see fly tipping going up," said Hawkinge town councillor David Monk, who said protesters would try to challenge the decision.

But county councillor Brian Sweetland said fly tippers generally did not use waste sites anyway.

Another site threatened with closure, at Richborough, won a temporary reprieve on Monday after the cabinet referred the decision to the full council on 29 March.

'Judicial review'

A petition with 1,300 names was handed in opposing the move.

Mr Monk said residents of Hawkinge would first attempt to get the closure of its tip "called in" for a review by the council.

"If that doesn't happen then the town council will have to consider the position via a judicial review," he said.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England said it welcomed the Richborough delay as an opportunity to lobby councillors over the strength of support for both sites.

"We are also concerned that this move could lead to a greater incidence of fly-tipping in the rural areas around these sites," said Andrew Ogden.

Mr Sweetland said the closures had to be considered as part of the wider waste review.

'Upgrade sites'

"These are a couple of the smaller sites and they are really quite old sites," he said.

"We want to upgrade sites and change the location of a few of them.

"We will be upgrading and enlarging the Ashford site and we do want to put in a new site at Tonbridge and Malling.

"We believe that people at Hawkinge will be within 20 minutes of the Folkestone site."

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