THURROCK Council is set to interview a number of individuals as they pursue those who fly-tipped a mile long stretch of rubbish in Purfleet.
A spokesperson for Thurrock Council said:
"There were three illegal incursions on the strip of land known as Cory’s Wharf. The council cleared most of the site (including some asbestos) following the first, and re-secured it.
The council sought and received court permission to remove the second illegal encampment, but a third group of travellers entered the site before the second group could be evicted.
The law refers to specific people being evicted and not a generic group. This led to the situation where the council was unable to make the site vacant and fully secure for over two weeks leading to the build-up of rubbish.
Since Cory’s Wharf returned to the council’s control it has:
Sifted through the rubbish and removed any hazardous or toxic material so that what remained is inert;
Contacted contractors to see how much it would cost to remove – estimates ranged from Â£200,000 to Â£700,000;
Worked with our partners at the Purfleet Centre development to find out whether they could play a role in removing the rubbish as development starts;
Interviewed or requested interviews with 10 individuals and one business from where we believe the rubbish originated with further interviews under caution planned; and
Started work on the legal process necessary to bring 11 or more prosecutions.
Some potential interviewees have been away on holiday and the council has to give them all a fair opportunity to attend before chasing further, other interviewees have provided information towards those who may have actually illegally dumped the rubbish and those leads are also being followed up.
We are currently talking with a contractor who will tidy up the site, removing any items which could prove an invitation to vandals while bulldozing and compacting the inert waste that remains before the site is developed.