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‘To say they were not going to do it because of brambles was ridiculous’ - pensioner clears fly-tip left by council

PUBLISHED: 10:34 04 December 2018 | UPDATED: 10:50 04 December 2018

Christopher Peacher who has rounded on the council for saying there were too many brambles to safely clear a fly-tip in Acle Picture: Liz Coates

Christopher Peacher who has rounded on the council for saying there were too many brambles to safely clear a fly-tip in Acle Picture: Liz Coates

Archant

A pensioner with cancer has described how he cleared a ditch of fly-tipped rubbish after the council said there were too many brambles and it wasn’t safe for them to do it.

The lay-by on the A1064 at Acle which is a magnet for fly-tippers Picture: Liz CoatesThe lay-by on the A1064 at Acle which is a magnet for fly-tippers Picture: Liz Coates

Christopher Peacher, 66, said the “slight incline” and thick undergrowth were no barrier to him at the roadside spot he regularly patrols for rubbish which feeds into the River Bure at Acle.

The saga started when Mr Peacher, 66, of Orchard Close, reported a fly-tip of some 100 plastic containers off a lay-by on the A1064 near his home village.

He said contractors from Broadland District Council took most of it, but not tyres and other debris entangled in undergrowth.

Armed with some gardening tools he set about doing the work himself.

Christopher Peacher who has rounded on the council for saying there were too many brambles to safely clear a fly-tip in Acle Picture: Liz CoatesChristopher Peacher who has rounded on the council for saying there were too many brambles to safely clear a fly-tip in Acle Picture: Liz Coates

Because of his serious health problems including a heart condition it took him three hours in two shifts.

“I was not impressed,” he said.

“It was only partially cleared. So I got in touch and the reason why they did not take it was because brambles and the slight incline made it dangerous for the work force.

“So I said I would do it. There were 12 or so tyres, a metal container, some plastic in the brambles as well as some even bigger containers.

Christopher Peacher retrieved rubbish from this brambly ditch after the council refused Picture: Liz CoatesChristopher Peacher retrieved rubbish from this brambly ditch after the council refused Picture: Liz Coates

“For them not to bother to walk 6ft either side of the main tip, I could not believe it.

“Of the containers that I hauled out quite a few had some sort of chemical or adhesive in them.

“There was also about 150 DVD cases.

“It just made me so angry to think they knew it was there and they were prepared to leave something that is a hazard to us all in a ditch that is going to feed the River Bure.

“To say they were not going to do it because of brambles was ridiculous.”

A spokesman for Broadland District Council said: “We can confirm that the fly tip was cleared by our contractor.

“However not all items were removed as they were positioned a few metres into the bramble bushes and it was uncertain what the condition of the surface underfoot was like on the small hill going down to the drainage ditch.

“As such, to comply with our duty of care to our contractors and from a health and safety perspective, we deemed it unsafe to attempt to retrieve these items.

“In the meantime and unaware to us, Mr Peacher retrieved the items and left them in the lay-by in numerous bags.

“We then arranged for these bags to be collected.

“We would never have urged or asked a citizen to do this from a health and safety perspective.”

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