NEW Mossley residents have hit out after hundreds of tyres and wooden pallets were dumped on the green at Manse Way - five months before the traditional July 11 bonfire at the site.
Several local householders contacted the Times this week to complain about the materials, and other items including a mattress and a sofa, being dumped at the side of the road, just yards from Hill Croft and Earlview schools.
Last year bonfire builders in the estate used a mechanical digger to pile materials in the middle of the green following complaints about items being fly-tipped at the roadside, and some residents fear the area is being turned into an illegal dump once again.
One resident who lives close to the bonfire site commented: “The first week in February and already there are hundreds of tyres and pallets being dumped, it’s a disgrace.
“The place turned into a tip last year with people just pulling up at the side of the road and dumping their rubbish, and they’ve started again already. People here will have to look at this eyesore for the next five months.”
The man, who didn’t want to be identified, continued: “You daren’t say anything to these guys (the bonfire builders), but people are disgusted that the place is being turned into a tip again.”
Another man, who lives on the opposite side of the estate, also contacted the Times about the matter, but he too said he didn’t want to be named.
“I couldn’t believe it when I drove past and saw all the pallets and tyres dumped on the green already - it’s only February.
“A couple of years ago there were no tyres on the bonfire and that was great, but last year the tyres appeared again and now they’re piling them up already for this year’s - it’s ridiculous.”
He added: “Surely it’s illegal to burn tyres on a bonfire, so why are the Housing Executive (owners of the land) and the Environmental Health people at the council not coming in here, with police protection if necessary, and removing these tyres? They (Environmental Health and the PSNI) should be tracking down the tyre companies that aren’t disposing of their tyres properly - they should be prosecuted for dumping them like this.”
One pensioner who has lived in the estate for more than 30 years stressed that she wouldn’t mind the bonfire material being stockpiled on the green if it was only a few weeks until the annual July 11 celebration, but said it is “an embarrassment that the place will look like a tip for the next lot of months.”
“People are just pulling up and dumping mattresses and settees and things at the kerb, it’s disgraceful. The residents around here - people who pay their rates - don’t want this, but what can we do?
“What’s going on here is against the law and yet no-one seems to want to do anything about it,” she said.
The Housing Executive confirmed that it has received one complaint about the bonfire material.
“The removal of bonfire material is a sensitive issue and we will work with other agencies and the local community regarding this,” a spokesperson commented.
Officials at Newtownabbey Borough Council said they have received no complaints regarding illegal dumping at the site.