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Blundeston Prison bonfire which burned for days forced family out of home

PUBLISHED: 13:19 07 November 2018 | UPDATED: 13:19 07 November 2018

Bonfire at Blundeston Prison. FACBOOK SHAZ BEER

Bonfire at Blundeston Prison. FACBOOK SHAZ BEER

Archant

A major bonfire which burned for several days at a disused prison forced one family to move out of their home to avoid the “thick acrid smoke.”

Contractors working at Blundeston Prison started a bonfire on Saturday which continued to burn on Monday, sending smoke onto the A47 and into nearby homes.

Speaking anonymously, one nearby resident said: “You could smell thick acrid smoke blowing on the A47 and the homes next to the site have had to close their windows because of the fumes and the smoke.

“The fire was still burning the next night, but the wind had dropped which caused the acrid black smoke to linger in the air around the area.

“We had already closed all windows and doors and even taped up fan vents to help prevent the smoke entering our home but it was still getting in and causing the whole family sore acidic throats and headaches.

“We had to make the expensive decision of deciding to leave our home and stay in a hotel which was obviously unpleasant for all the family.

“This is by far the worse event yet but the developer and appointed contractors have persisted to create a nuisance for approximately two years now and they are becoming more and more audacious.

“They seemed to be burning insulation and painted or coated materials and this will lead to air pollution and land contamination issues.

The site was bought by Badger Building for £3 million in 2013 after the decision to close the prison, which housed more than 500 inmates and employed 230 staff at the time.

Waveney District Council confirmed they were investigating a reported breach of planning conditions.

A spokesman said: “A breach of planning conditions regarding the site has been reported and the case officer for the development is aware and investigating.

“We have also been addressing environmental considerations in partnership with the Health and Safety Executive and we will continue to monitor the site.”

Councillors had previously approved planning permission from Badger Building to build 140 homes on the site, including a 60-bed care home and two shops are also planned for the former category C facility.

A spokesman for the developers said: “We handed that particular element of the site to a demolition contractor.

“We were completely unaware of their intentions to do this, and the first we found out was when we were contacted on the Saturday.”

A spokesperson for GSD Lambert & Sons, the contractors in charge of demolishing the site, declined to comment.

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