Residents call for action on the ‘Alps of Watnall’

NEAABE120321c2, Huge mound seen from the a path.
NEAABE120321c2, Huge mound seen from the a path.

RESIDENTS unhappy at a pile of gypsum waste dubbed the Alps of Watnall have revealed their ‘grave concerns’ about the situation.

The gypsum waste – residue from plasterboard – has come from nearby firm Fernwood Fuels and has grown so large it can be seen from miles around.

This week Cllr Philip Owen said he had received several complaints, some from people who were worried about dust emissions and who had reported films of dust on their vehicles.

He accused Fernwood Fuels of ‘abusing’ the planning legislation which makes it legal to stockpile minerals.

But Broxtowe Borough Council defended the firm’s actions.

A spokesman confirmed they were monitoring the site but revealed the firm was doing everything within the letter of the law and reassured residents the gypsum was not toxic.

“The premises are regulated by the council and inspected regularly and the site conditions comply with current standards,” said the spokesman.

“The current stockpile is quite large due to the slowdown in the construction industry.

“The company is investigating alternative sites. We will continue to monitor the site and ensure its adequately controlled.”

However resident John Smith described it as a blot on the landscape.

“It’s the worse case I have ever seen,” he said.

“It’s ruined the view and in this day and age I don’t know how they can get away with it.”

Mr Smith said it had been there for some time, but it had got significantly worse over the last few weeks.

“It’s almost like an eruption that’s occurred,” he added.

“It’s got increasingly bigger and bigger. It shouldn’t be happening. I think it’s unbelievable. Environmentally it’s abhorrent.”

Mr Smith added the waste was a ‘great shame’ after councillors had done various pieces of work on woodlands nearby.

Fernwood Fuels is a coalwharf that ships coal and other minerals from power stations in Nottinghamshire.

The Advertiser made every effort to contact firm director Charles Holehouse but he did not respond to our requests for a comment.