A second meeting was held with WNC Councillors Alan Chantley and Malcolm Longley last week to discuss progress in the cleanup of the layby to the north of Kilsby on the A5, which has been a litter eyesore, fly-tipping site, and health hazard for many years. We are delighted that progress appears to be being made, especially as we still see litter being dumped every day; the photograph here was taken last week.
In addition, we now know that Network Rail, Prologis, Vodafone, and Chris Heaton Harris are all paying attention to the problem. We have therefore agreed to “step back” to give West Northamptonshire Council space and time to try and address things. Here are some of the points agreed:
Prologis (DIRFT) have arranged a cleanup of the layby in June, involving staff and volunteers from the company and their partners at DIRFT. We have made them aware that there is a lot of heavy material from early fly-tips that needs to be shifted and that this needs much more than a “community litter pick”. We know that The Wombles have done us proud trying to clear lots of litter from the site on several occasions and hopefully this action by Prologis will do the same with the heavier, dirtier mess.
Network Rail (who own adjacent land) and Vodafone (who are responsible for the missing manhole covers) are looking at ways to make the site more secure and safer respectively, in response to correspondence from Chris Heaton-Harris MP.
WNC, Norse and Kilsby Parish Council are in correspondence about the provision of bins (and regular servicing of them!). Our understanding is that there is no dispute that this needs to be and can be provided, but they are working out who should pay for the bins. In the meantime we know that Prologis have also been approached with a view to them funding these.
WNC have contemplated whether there is merit in providing toilet facilities at the site. Our campaign view on this is that unless proper brick-built and regularly cleaned and serviced facilities were provided, this would probably do more harm than good. “Portaloos”, for example, are likely to be vandalised or stolen, and not serviced properly, whilst maybe even adding to the problem by attracting more truck drivers to overnight parking.
We have suggested to WNC councillors that a more effective use of any funds that can be made available would be the installation of CCTV, lighting, and signs threatening fixed penalties for littering and prosecution for fly-tipping. Power is available at the site and CCTV could be mounted on high posts to avoid vandalism. We are advised that the facility to monitor CCTV exists and that WNC would be able to levy penalties under existing regulations. We have been promised that this will be raised with the councils highways officers and we will be kept informed.
Finally, as villagers may already be aware, a pot of funding, believed to be several hundred thousand pounds, was made available by Prologis and developers at DIRFT as part of their agreement with local authorities, to address any concerns of residents affected by the development. WNC councillors have accepted that the problem with lorry drivers waste falls firmly into this category and are investigating access to this money to fund the proposed improvements.
With all this in mind, we will review the state of the layby and progress made at the end of September 2021. Please stay in touch in the meantime.