Litter hotspot clean up frustrated by confusion over who owns land

Breckland councillor, Gordon Bambridge, has made it his mission to sort out the litter on Safria Way in Dereham

Breckland councillor, Gordon Bambridge, has made it his mission to sort out the litter on Safari Way in Dereham. He said finding the landowner has been difficult due to not being registered correctly.  - Credit: Breckland Council/Harry Clarke

An incorrect land registry has stalled a councillor's attempt to clear up a litter hotspot.

The land on Safari Way in Dereham, next to the former Crane Fruehauf depot site, has become a litter hotspot, with rubbish collecting in a ditch.

Breckland councillor, Gordon Bambridge, has made it his mission to sort out the mess but has said it has not been simple to find the person responsible for the land.

Littering on Safari Way in Dereham will be discussed at a town council meeting next week

Littering on Safari Way in Dereham has been on the council's agenda since April. - Credit: Harry Clarke

“It should be quite easy, we have the land registry system,” he said.

“Every piece of land when it changes hands should be registered with this system.


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“In this case, this piece of land has not been correctly registered. We cannot use that simple method so we have to use other methods, which means looking up previous owners and thus finding out who has responsibility for the ditch.

Littering on Safari Way in Dereham will be discussed at a town council meeting next week

Littering on Safari Way in Dereham back in April. - Credit: Harry Clarke

“I am very near to finding a solution, and once I have, I will take action.”

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The confusion over the land ownership has been preventing the council from carrying out work to tidy up the ditch.

Mr Bambridge, Breckland's executive member for waste and environment, added he did not want to spend the public’s money to clean up the rubbish if it was not their price to pay.

The heavily littered ditch at Safari Way in Dereham 

The heavily littered ditch at Safari Way in Dereham - Credit: Noah Vickers

“I said that it ought to be cleared up, but I can't justify spending public money clearing up private land without approaching owners first,” he said.

He hopes that when the owners have been discovered, they will clear up the land, or pay for contractors to do so.

Town and district councillor Harry Clarke.

Town and district councillor Harry Clarke.

Harry Clarke, a fellow Breckland councillor, also said that the mystery over the landowner has stopped them from taking any action.

“You can't litter pick as it’s someone else's land,” he said.

“It is not the job of an individual to deal with hazardous material such as glass.”

Mr Clarke added: “I am frustrated by the lack of action, I do not care who does it, I just want things sorted.

“Once it is tidied up, it could be more appealing and less likely to get stuff dumped in it."

Mr Bambridge will be at Dereham Town Council's next full council meeting on October 12.

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