Glasgow & West Scotland

Newton Mearns dump fly hazard will 'take time' to fix

Illegal dump
Image caption Officials say the scale of the problem makes it complicated to deal with

Newton Mearns residents have been warned it will "take time" to deal with an illegal dump blamed for a fly infestation in the area.

A massive hoard of waste was uncovered at the former Netherplace Dye Works, close to the town.

Health officials said the volume and variety of the waste required a complex removal operation.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) is working with East Renfrewshire Council at the site.

Sepa head of operations for the south west Kenny Boag said: "Sepa officers are continuing to prioritise the investigation into an illegal waste site at Netherplace Dye Works, close to Newton Mearns.

"Our primary aim is to ensure that the waste currently on site is managed, transported and disposed of in a safe and legally correct manner and are also working closely with the local council and landowner to address the issue of flies on site and reduce their immediate impact on surrounding homes and businesses.

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Media captionEnvironmental health manager John Davidson: "It could take several days [to clear], it depends on how quickly the material can be removed."

"Due to the volume and variety of waste types which have been found on site and the complexity involved in removing waste safely, work to remove the material will take time."

Since last month, people close to the site have been complaining about a large number of flies affecting homes and businesses.

The infestation has also been reported to be causing problems in neighbouring Clarkston and Giffnock.

The waste is being treated as a criminal investigation but Sepa has said remedial measures can be taken in tandem with evidence gathering.

Pest control

Mr Boag added: "Particular care must also be taken to avoid exacerbating the existing problem with flies. While our investigation is ongoing however, we are in discussion with the landowner, to look at all available options to reduce the number of flies at the site, including pest control measures to treat the waste.

"We have devoted considerable resources to tackle this illegal activity and will be pursuing those responsible.

"We greatly appreciate the patience of the local community while this work takes place and will do everything we can to provide a further update as soon as possible."

Image caption Waste can be seen spilling from doorways of the building

East Renfrewshire Council environmental health manager John Davidson told BBC Scotland: "The sooner it is removed the better.

"We are hopeful it (the work) will commence tomorrow morning and if not soon after in conjunction with some pest control activity to try and limit any release of flies.

"But it could take several days, it depends on how quickly the material can be removed."

'Absolutely horrendous'

Newton Mearns residents Rachel McPherson and Lorraine Gardiner have told BBC Radio Scotland about the fly problem.

Ms Gardiner told the Call Kaye programme: "We've had the flies for three weeks as we first noticed them on Mother's Day.

"On Saturday we were enjoying the sunshine with our doors and windows open and within 20 minutes there were 30 flies in the living room. It's absolutely horrendous.

Ms McPherson said: "It's not been very nice. Originally we thought it was just our house but after speaking to neighbours and local shops realised this was a bigger issue.

"There are a lot of flies in the house, all the time."

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