Oil floods Wheathampstead road as fly-tippers dispose of more than 30 containers

PUBLISHED: 10:39 17 August 2020 | UPDATED: 11:35 17 August 2020

Oil has run over a quarter of a mile down the lane towards Wheathampstead. Picture: Mike Smith

Oil has run over a quarter of a mile down the lane towards Wheathampstead. Picture: Mike Smith

Archant

Used motor oil containers have been dumped in a country lane in Wheathampstead, with the weekend weather washing engine oil as far as “a quarter of a mile” down the road.

Councillor Sandra Wood was called by residents after the oil was discovered over the weekend. Picture: Mike SmithCouncillor Sandra Wood was called by residents after the oil was discovered over the weekend. Picture: Mike Smith

Residents alerted their ward councillor for the area, Sandra Wood, who visited Sheepcote Lane yesterday.

The oil had been dumped about 300 metres south of where Sheepcote Lane connects with Codicote Lane.

Sheepcote Lane is an unmade and unlit byway that connects Codicote Lane to Marford Road in Wheathampstead.

It is open to all vehicles and it has often been a target for fly tippers in the past.

They also found distinctive grey coloured decking and picket fencing in Sheepcote Lane. Picture: Mike SmithThey also found distinctive grey coloured decking and picket fencing in Sheepcote Lane. Picture: Mike Smith

Councillor Wood told the Herts Ad: “This incident is particularly bad. There looks to have been over 30 oil containers and two full-size oil drums dumped on the site.

“It looks like somebody has been clearing out a commercial garage site.

“What has made this incident far worse is that it looks like the perpetrators didn’t just dump the containers – they removed the caps off the containers and poured the oil out onto the lane.

“The rain over the weekend has washed the oil over a quarter of a mile down the lane, causing major pollution.”

A large quantity of motor oil has been dumped in Sheepcote Lane in Wheathampstead. Picture: Mike SmithA large quantity of motor oil has been dumped in Sheepcote Lane in Wheathampstead. Picture: Mike Smith

There may have been as much as 2,000 litres of oil dumped in the lane.

In addition to the used engine oil, garden decking with a distinctive grey paint has also been fly tipped in the lane, alongside white picket fencing.

A spokesman for St Albans District Council said: “We are in the process of clearing up the lane, but some of the containers and liquid may be hazardous – the area has been cordoned off.

“It might not just be oil, it might be something else. We have got to be very careful with health and safety and we can’t say for sure that it is oil.

Scrap wood was also found to have been fly tipped at the scene. Picture: Mike SmithScrap wood was also found to have been fly tipped at the scene. Picture: Mike Smith

“We have a third party contractor coming in to remove the bottles shortly.

“The timber is in the process of being removed by our waste contractor, Veolia. As the area is not easily accessible, special arrangements have to be made. It should all be cleared by the end of the week.

“We haven’t seen any evidence as to who is responsible or where it’s come from, but if we find any we will pursue the perpetrators.”

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