Fly plague waste site closed down

But bosses vow to ap­peal against de­ci­sion

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - News - An­drew Bargh

Shaw­head res­i­dents are de­lighted that the re­cy­cling plant re­spon­si­ble for the plague of flies which has in­fested their homes has been forced to close.

The Scot­tish En­vi­ron­ment Pro­tec­tion Agency (SEPA) last week is­sued GBS Re­cy­cling with a no­tice of re­vo­ca­tion, re­mov­ing their li­cence and pre­vent­ing them from man­ag­ing waste on the Hag­mill Es­tate site.

Scores of frus­trated home­own­ers had com­plained about swarms of flies in­fest­ing their homes. It was the sec­ond time in less than a year that the in­sects had de­scended on the area.

A Face­book group en­ti­tled The Catcher of the Fly had 800 mem­bers and re­ceived the back­ing of con­stituency MSP Ful­ton MacGre­gor.

Keirsten Smith, who set up the Face­book page, told the Ad­ver­tiser: “It’s fan­tas­tic news and shows that when a com­mu­nity stands strong then its voice can be heard.

“With­out a doubt our hard work has paid off. Peo­ple can re­lax and live their lives.

“It’s been like a hor­ror movie at times. Ev­ery­where you went the flies got you.

“To be able to do sim­ple things, like mak­ing a cup of tea with­out a fly land­ing in it or open­ing the win­dows on a warm day, will be bliss.

“Ev­ery­body that joined our Face­book group played a part in this vic­tory and we also couldn’t have done it with­out the Ad­ver­tiser, who high­lighted our prob­lem.

“We’re so happy our lives will now be able to get back to nor­mal.”

Fel­low res­i­dent Anne Mills added: “We’re sorry that peo­ple may lose their jobs but if they kept their li­cence then we’d have to deal with this ev­ery year.

“I don’t want to see any­body left un­em­ployed but GBS have had their chances and, with al­most a full sum­mer ahead, we’re just re­lieved that this looks like it’s come to an end.”

A spokesper­son for SEPA said: “GBS Re­cy­cling Lim­ited has been served with a no­tice of re­vo­ca­tion which re­moves the op­er­a­tor’s li­cence at their site in Shaw­head.

“SEPA is sat­is­fied that al­low­ing the op­er­a­tor to con­tinue waste ac­tiv­i­ties would cause pol­lu­tion of the en­vi­ron­ment or have a detri­men­tal im­pact on the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

“It should be noted that GBS Re­cy­cling Lim­ited have the op­tion to ap­peal the ser­vice of the no­tice to Scot­tish min­is­ters.”

GBS di­rec­tor Tavis McCabe con­firmed he will be ap­pealling SEPA’s de­ci­sion.

He said: “We are not just go­ing to give up. We will fight this.

“The res­i­dents gath­ered a sig­nif­i­cant amount of mo­men­tum, which even reached the MSP, and it’s the pres­sure on SEPA that has done this.

“The li­cence be­ing re­voked when the site was clear and the com­pany had taken sig­nif­i­cant steps in re­la­tion to in­vest­ing in en­vi­ron­men­tal con­trols is ex­tremely dis­ap­point­ing.

“I will in­struct our solic­i­tors of our in­ten­tions and take it from there but for the fore­see­able fu­ture no waste man­age­ment will take place on the site.”

MSP Ful­ton MacGre­gor said: “This is a big de­vel­op­ment and the peo­ple who have suf­fered on­go­ing in­fes­ta­tion and fought this is­sue tire­lessly will be pleased they will now be able to live with­out fear of fur­ther prob­lems.

“I know SEPA will not have taken this de­ci­sion lightly but they clearly felt that there were no other op­tions left for them to en­sure that the plant and the sur­round­ing ar­eas re­main free from in­fes­ta­tion.”

In­fes­ta­tion Res­i­dents were plagued by flies Shut down SEPA has or­dered the clo­sure of GBS Re­cy­cling

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