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Setback over removing tyre mountain
4:34pm Friday 4th May 2012 in Business
IT IS one of Hampshire’s biggest eyesores.
But now hopes that a mountain of tyres will be removed have suffered a setback.
The company clearing the tyre dump near Romsey has stopped operating.
Pure 8, which took on the site last May has vacated the premises after running into financial difficulties.
He confirmed that Pure 8, which had been exporting tyres from the site at Ashfield to South Korea for incineration, had left.
“I understand they had a problem with one of their contracts and had to close the operation down,” said Mr Thompson.
He added that he would be speaking to “various interested parties”
over the next few weeks about the future of the dump.
“Things are moving... this is not a major crisis,” he said.
Mr Thompson, who bought the site in 2006, said it had been an “uphill struggle” to clear the tyres and that part of the problem had been the obstructive attitude of local councillors.
“Even if I grassed the place over and put cows on the site they would object,” he said.
However, he said he was confident the site could be turned into one which provided employment for the area as well as a long-term income for himself.
It is estimated Pure 8 reduced the tyre mountain from more than a million to around 400,000 – but only 250,000 are permitted on the site.
In February the Daily Echo reported that Pure 8 had taken out a 25- year lease on the two-acre site and that company bosses had met with local councillors and officials from the environment Agency about their plans to turn the site into a recycling centre.
At the time Pure 8’s chief executive, Geoff Brown said it was vital the company was granted permission to bring more tyres onto the site.
Mr Brown said that the firm needed to process at least 60,000 tyres a month to make the operation viable and he claimed the South Korean contract could be lost if Pure 8 did not receive approval.
But yesterday an Environment Agency spokeswoman said that Pure 8 had never applied for a permit to bring more tyres onto the site.
She said that if a new operator took over the site the EA would be in contact with them.
Local councillors and Romsey Ramblers have been campaigning to have the tyres removed for years.
Bryan Bayliss, walking environment officer for the local ramblers, said it was time for the eyesore to be removed.
He said: “Romsey Ramblers have been trying to get the ‘Responsible Adults’ who run our society to solve the problem of the threatening health and fire hazard of the Ashfield Tyre Dump for more than eight years.
“Enough time has passed, enough patience spent, enough of seeing this eyesore, enough warnings from the fire services, enough faith in the EA and county council – time’s up!”
Pure 8 were unavailable for comment.