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Gypsies claim site is ‘overrun’ with rats due to Norwich recycling centre

PUBLISHED: 12:31 15 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:47 16 August 2018

Some of the children in their playground on their site right next to the Mile Cross Recycling Centre, the green building, where they have trouble with rats, flies, and the smell. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Some of the children in their playground on their site right next to the Mile Cross Recycling Centre, the green building, where they have trouble with rats, flies, and the smell. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

Gypsies on a permanent site in Norwich claim it is “overrun” with rats due to the proximity of a neighbouring tip and not being properly maintained by the council.

Some of the families living on their site next to the Mile Cross Recycling Centre, where they have trouble with rats, flies, and the smell. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSome of the families living on their site next to the Mile Cross Recycling Centre, where they have trouble with rats, flies, and the smell. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Around 20 families live at the permanent traveller site at the end of Swanton Road in Norwich.

But some claim the Mile Cross Recycling Centre, which is located next door, is attracting pests to the area.

William Brazil, 56, said he can no longer eat outdoors due to the smell from the facility.

He said: “When you turn the lights out at night you can hear the rats running around squealing, we are overrun with them.

The travellers site next to the Mile Cross Recycling Centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe travellers site next to the Mile Cross Recycling Centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“We also get all the dust and flies from that site, and during the day all we get is noise from the diggers.”

Norfolk County Council, which contracts FCC Environment to operate the facility, said recent inspections found no evidence of pests.

A council spokesman said FCC confirmed “all necessary procedures” were in place at the site, including pest control protocols.

The recycling centre, which has been in operation since 1996, is located metres away from the traveller site, and borders a children’s play park.

The travellers site next to the Mile Cross Recycling Centre, the green building at the back, where they have trouble with rats, flies, and the smell. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe travellers site next to the Mile Cross Recycling Centre, the green building at the back, where they have trouble with rats, flies, and the smell. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mr Brazil said it was “disgusting” that a recycling facility was allowed to operate so close to young families.

“There is no way this would be allowed to happen if we weren’t travellers,” he added.

Clare Wilson, 32, said she can no longer use her outhouse because of the rats.

Meanwhile, Emily Smith, 58, said: “In the morning their will be rat droppings all along the paths.”

In July the tip caught fire resulting in the evacuation of the traveller site.

A county council spokesman said: “The company [FCC] is fully compliant with the stipulations in its permit to operate and industry practice.”

“Norfolk County Council staff visit the [recycling centre] site regularly and carry out formal inspections every two to three months.

“There has been no record of any pest issues.

“Two recent inspection reports In May 2018 and August 2017 specifically note no evidence of any pests.

“All other inspections reviewed over the last 12 months also give the highest score, indicating no pest issues.”

The county council said it contracts a pest control company to visit the traveller site once a month.

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