A RELIEVED resident who has had to “contend with fires and mice” as a result of an illegal waste site behind her home says she is glad to see it cleared.

Tendring Council partnered up with Veolia, Essex Police and several other agencies in order to tidy up a neglected property in Alvis Avenue, Jaywick.

The authority was given permission to enforce action after the site became a serious problem for neighbours and villagers.

Everything from abandoned caravans and recycling bins, to sofas and planks of wood could be found within the dirty heap.

Sarah Dreelan lives in Austin Avenue, and her property backs directly on to where the waste used to be.

According Ms Dreelan, the rubbish would often be set on fire at night, meaning her godson, who suffers with critical congenital heart disease, could never stay over.

“I have had to contend with fires every night and mice which were coming from the piles of rubbish,” she said.

“It is a relief, having dealt with it for a year and not being able to have my godson Sonny-Lee stay overnight due the smoke coming into my house from the fires.

“I am a trustee for Sonny’s Army, which was set up for my godson, and now I can help again with the charity.

“Now I am finally able to open my windows and know I can breathe.”

Another resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, lives near the pile of illegal waste.

She said the unsightly mount of rubbish was visually unpleasant and proved a major problem for those living with respiratory complications.

“My child and a few other people on this road have bad asthma and when they used to set fire to the rubbish they did not care,” she said.

“They were setting fire to everything and it looked bad.”

Brad Thompson, 34, from Jaywick, was instrumental in putting pressure on Tendring Council to clear up the mess, persistently asking the authority for help.

He said he was pleased see the council responding to issues raised by residents.

“It’s amazing because we have been waiting for so long and I’ve had so many people contacting me about it,” he said.

“And we finally have a result for the whole community. There is still a long way to go, but we will get there.”

Paul Honeywood, Tending Council cabinet member with special responsibility for Jaywick, said he acted on behalf of the community.

He said: “Maintaining a clean and safe district for our residents is very important to us so at times like this necessary action must be taken.”