ENVIRONMENT bosses have defended a delay in action to clear up an “unofficial tip” in Jaywick.

Frustrated residents in Brooklands Gardens last week told the Gazette they were fed up after being forced to live alongside the site for months despite reporting the issue to the Environment Agency and Tendring Council.

They claimed a fire-pit at the site looked like the “crater of a volcano” and there are also cars, a boat, settees, fridges and piles of household rubbish.

Former ward councillor Dan Casey, who is also a member of the Jaywick Forum, said: “All this rubbish has been allowed to build up all that time when the council should have got rid of it.

“I know it’s not their rubbish or their land, but much of it has just been dumped there.

“Considering all the work the council has put in to regenerate Jaywick, this situation shouldn’t be allowed to go on for one day, let alone months.

“The council should have treated this as a priority and removed the waste immediately.

“It’s just a nightmare for residents.”

Tendring Council said work will begin as soon as possible once ongoing work with the Environment Agency to check that proper plans are in place for the safe and legal clear-up are completed.

Environment boss Michael Talbot said while those dumping waste had acted illegally, the council had a duty to act properly.

“Clearing up this sort of site, with unknown waste and on private land, is neither easy nor simple for any council,” he said.

“While I appreciate some people may be frustrated at a perceived delay, may I reassure residents we are acting as swiftly as possible, and suggest their frustration might be better aimed at the criminals who are acting irresponsibly by dumping waste in this location – and indeed at any unauthorised site.

“Clearing up such fly-tips can be an expensive process, and where possible we will be looking to recover the cost from those responsible, rather than from the taxpayer.”

The council says it has moved quickly to clear up fly-tipping across the district and in most cases an officer will attend to assess the waste within 24 hours.

Tendring Council said it has received 2,139 reports of fly-tipping in the past 18 months and is considering prosecutions after sifting through the waste It said that often a homeowner has paid someone to clear the rubbish and is unaware that it has been dumped illegally, but it is the householder’s responsibility to ensure waste is taken away by a registered person.