Investigation launched after car waste dumped at Middleton mill

Date published: 12 March 2019

Scrap car parts appear to have been dumped in the grounds of a historic mill in Middleton.

Rochdale Council is looking into how a large number of tyres and other car parts were tipped at the Grade-II listed Warwick Mill.

The building has become a magnet for vandalism and anti-social behaviour since Hong Kong developer G-Suite’s £50m proposal to transform it into a ‘global trade hub’ came to nothing.

Planning permission – which has now expired – was granted more than three years ago but no work was ever undertaken.

Council bosses recently moved to secure the site – billing G-Suite for the trouble – due to fears youngsters were gaining access and putting themselves and others in danger.

But a huge number of tyres and other car parts were recently spotted at the mill by two local residents.

They were found by Jan Eaton-Dykes and Ros Liddle – chairwoman and vice chairwoman of Middleton in Bloom – who were out scouting for ‘grot-spots’ to clean up.


Car waste dumped at Warwick Mill


The pair say it appeared that bolt-cutters had been used to get through the heavy-duty chains that had been used to lock the mill’s gates.

“They have obviously just got in there and dumped this stuff,” said Mrs Eaton-Dykes.

The mystery offender appears to have put soil on top of the waste in a vain attempt to disguise it.

Mrs Eaton-Dykes added: “I think someone, somewhere needs to do a serious investigation to find out where it has come from in the first place.

“There is evidence there with number plates, if someone could be bothered to find out where the number plates started from and which scrap yard they ended up in.”

It is not known over what period of time the waste was dumped, but Mrs Liddle said: “The size of it, when you actually see it, is unbelievable – the amount of stuff that’s been dumped.”


Car waste dumped at Warwick Mill


Residents believe the gates have been open for about two weeks and Mrs Liddle believes the dumping may have been going on ‘two or three times a day’.

Councillor Donna Williams, chair of Middleton Township Committee, said the incident was ‘shocking’.

Speaking shortly after it came to light, she said: “It looks like it’s not something that has been there for a long time, but it’s a massive risk and it looks like it’s still happening.

“I’m really angry that someone has the audacity to do that.”

Paul Moore, head of planning services at Rochdale council, said: “We’re grateful to the member of the public for bringing this issue to our attention.

“An investigation into the waste material on site will take place, during which time we will be liaising with the Environment Agency.

“We will also be contacting the land owner to discuss this matter.”

G-Suite has been contacted for comment.

Nick Statham, Local Democracy Reporter

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