PERSISTENT fly-tipping, including the body of a dead cat, on communal land behind residents' homes has led to a "rat infestation" in the area.

Land at the back of Hazle Close in Ledbury has been used as a dumping ground for household items for many years, residents claim, and now they want action to stop the problem.

Tom Wellfell, 33, who has lived in the area for two years, said: “This square has been covered in broken TVs and rubbish items and it’s led to a rat infestation.

“Someone has put up a boundary fence made of wood to try and stop fly-tipping, but it still goes on. It’s a constant issue.”

Another resident, who did not want to be named, said: “I’ve lived here nearly 10 years and I’ve not seen it as bad as this.

“The tip isn’t far away but you have to book, and I guess people find it easier to just dump their items here.

“I’ve seen a car park in the close and the driver ferry items to this site, 10 meters or so away from the alley.

“I’ve had a rat eating my compost. It’s disgusting.”

Another resident, Kate Young, 42, said: “I’ve seen a dead cat dumped on the site in the past.

“I want someone to get a grip on the situation and stop it from happening in the future.”

When our reporter visited the site, they found a syringe amongst the rubbish there, as well as a wheelbarrow.

This illegal dumping of waste has a financial burden on the taxpayer due to the clean-up costs for the council.

The offence is punishable by a fine up to £50,000 or a 12-month prison sentence if the culprit is convicted in court.

The charity Keep Britain Tidy has said that more than a million instances of fly-tipping were dealt with by councils each year, with an excess clear-up cost of £58million in total.

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