Eastbourne man ‘fuming’ after being turned away from tip

Phil Lucas was 'fuming' after being told his van was too heavy to enter the tip
Phil Lucas was 'fuming' after being told his van was too heavy to enter the tip

A man whose vehicle was turned away from Eastbourne tip says East Sussex County Council’s rules are encouraging flytipping.

Phil Lucas, 56, was told his van was too heavy to be permitted inside the tip, even though he says he’s used it for years without any problems.

He had driven to the waste site to dump some household rubbish for a friend, but now says he will have to pay £140 for a skip instead.

“I was absolutely fuming,” the window fitter said, “The amount of time they spent arguing with me they could have let me in to unload and I would have been gone.

“I have always brought my rubbish to the tip but this sort of thing just encourages flytipping, because people like me go to the tip and are turned away. But if you report fly tipping the council will come and collect it.”

East Sussex County Council (ESCC) rules state that vehicles weighing 3.5 tonnes or more are not allowed on household waste sites for safety reasons – mainly to avoid harm to pedestrians.

But Mr Lucas, who says his van weighs under 3.2 tonnes, said, “It’s ridiculous. How many people have actually been hurt? I have never heard of it happening.

“The fact that they allow their own 3.5 tonne vans into the tip to unload fly-tip waste is an absolute disgrace – as is the amount of money Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC) spends on removing it.”

EBC spent more than £120,000 in 2014/2015 clearing up illegally dumped waste.

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said, “For safety reasons, vehicles weighing 3.5 tonnes or more are not allowed in our household waste sites.

“These kinds of vehicles are too large to fit in parking spaces and their size is such that the driver may have difficulty seeing pedestrians, particularly when reversing or turning.

“This rule has been in place for many years and applies at all household waste recycling sites across the county.

“We have explained this to Mr Lucas but would be happy to discuss this with him further.”

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