Family defends ‘messy business’

Wharton's Skips''w130313b
Wharton's Skips''w130313b

A FAMILY has spoken out to defend its waste disposal business after concerns were raised about pollution at Calla Beck, near Spital Bridge.

The waste disposal site on California Road has been leased by a family-run business named Wharton’s Skip Hire for the past two years.

Wharton's Skips''w130313a

Wharton's Skips''w130313a

However, residents have been in touch with their councillors to say they are concerned about the amount of waste on that site.

Whitby Mayor John Freeman said he had been contacted by a resident of Abbots Walk, which overlooks the site, who estimated that thousands of tons of waste had been dumped, with very little being processed and removed.

Scarborough Borough Councillor Sandra Turner said she had also been contacted by concerned residents and she had passed these on to environmental officers at the borough council.

In defence of his business, owner James Wharton said the waste had accumulated as they were awaiting the correct permits from North Yorkshire County Council.

He explained: “We have not done anything untowards intentionally.

“But I am not happy with the situation at Whitby and we are trying to improve.

“We have a piece of equipment in there that reduces the volume of waste that we have on site but we can not use that until the Environment Agency issue us with a certificate, which costs £6,000.”

Calla Beck is a site of scientific interest as it is the only salt water tidal marsh along the east coast for a hundred miles. This has led to fears of leaching and pollution from the waste dump into Calla Beck and Coun Ian Havelock said he has grown especially worried about the environmental impact.

He added: “It’s an absolutely disgraceful situation, it’s appalling. NYCC are just sitting on their hands and doing nothing again, to the very detriment of residents and the harbour and Whitby itself.”

But Michelle Wharton said the concerns were unfounded as the company conducted a daily water quality check. Her husband, James, added: “It’s a messy business. Not only that but we are restricted by permits and until we get them in place it is hard to work properly.”

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “We regularly monitor this site and are aware of the problems. We are working closely with the operator to make sure that improvements are made.

“If this doesn’t happen we will take appropriate action.”

To report any concerns about this site to the Environment Agency, call the 24-hour incident hotline on 0800 807060.