A community is calling for a notorious fly-tipping site dubbed the ‘Black Hole of Goldthorpe’ to be cleared up for good amid concerns it poses a risk to public health.
Household waste including settees, garden equipment and toys are continually dumped from a bridge off Straight Lane and onto an old railway line between the former Goldthorpe and Barnburgh pits.
Community leaders claimed this has been a problem for more than 20 years and is a blight on the landscape as well as posing a potential health risk as it attracts vermin.
Their frustration comes as cash-strapped Barnsley Council revealed they are having to spend almost £300, 000 a year to clean up other people’s mess at fly-tipping sites across the borough.
Residents are calling for the old railway site to be cleaned up, while the council is urging people to stop dumping their rubbish illegally.
Les Atkins, 69, who lives in nearby Bolton-upon-Dearne, said: “It has always been a major dumping site. It attracts rats and smells terribly. It should be cleared up and they should look at ways of stopping people from dumping there.”
Dearne councillor Jennifer Worton said all councillors in the Dearne North and Dearne South wards were aware of the problem.
She added: “A lot of people drive through the town along this bridge and it does not give a good impression of the area.”
The site is owned by Network Rail and not Barnsley Council so it is not the authority’s responsibility to maintain.
A spokesman for Network Rail said the “challenging site” has been cleared up several times in recent years and fencing has been installed.
He added “We are working closely with Barnsley Council to come up with a long-term solution to this site. In terms of a community clean up; this has been proposed by the council and is an approach we very supportive of. We will continue to work with the local council on this proposal.
“We hope local people will feel more ownership and pride in their area, and will help reduce the level of fly tipping in future.”
Barnsley Council said it has forked out £298, 814 this year to remove and safely dispose of about 2205 illegal littering sites.#
The authority recently prosecuted one man for illegally dumping 25 bags of rubbish - and warned other fly-tippers they will face the full force of the law.
Laurance Preston, 46, of St Andrew’s Square, Bolton-upon-Dearne, admitted illegal fly-tipping on John Street in Thurnscoe and was ordered to carryout 200 hours of unpaid work and pay costs of more than £500.
After the case at Barnsley Magistrates’ Court, Coun Roy Miller, cabinet member for places, said: “I hope it will act as a deterrent to others who might think about disposing of their waste in this irresponsible manner.
“Fly tipping blights our borough, making areas look untidy and uncared for. This not only makes it unattractive for residents, but can also deter both visitors to the area and potential business investment.
“It attracts vermin and other disease spreading pests. We do everything in our power to catch offenders and the penalties are harsh.”
Dearne residents are urged to take their household waste and recyclable items to the waste recycling centre in Nicholas Lane, Goldthorpe,