Commercial waste bonfires to be investigated after residents complain of ‘chemical smell’

Bridge Road East development bonfires

Residents have complained a number of bonfires in the area behind the Bridge Road East development. - Credit: Archant

The environmental health team will be sent to investigate a site in Welwyn Garden City following complaints from residents about the burning of commercial waste.

People living in the development in Bridge Road East have complained about a ‘chemical smell’ coming into their homes from the bonfires.

The development backs onto the Norton Building and surrounding land, with one resident, who has asked to remain anonymous, revealing the extent of the problems.

“We have had an ongoing problem with people burning commercial waste for over a year,” they told the Welwyn Hatfield Times.

“We’re getting really fed up now and it’s started to impact the residents as we get a burning chemical smell in our homes which cannot be good for our health. It’s also illegal to burn commercial waste.

The resident also revealed they have had problems with rats and people urinating outside their building, adding: “We also have a terrible rat problem which has now led to rats in our development. This is far from ideal and we’re unable to stop it because of the amount of rubbish collected on the ground over there.”

“We had to get our communal hallway windows frosted too because I have seen men urinating by the bins multiple times.”

Bridge Road East development

The development in Bridge Road East. - Credit: Google Maps

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In a statement, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council confirmed the environmental health team will now be investigating the site following the complaints.

“We have recently received a complaint concerning commercial bonfires on this site and this is being investigated by the environmental health team,” said a spokeswoman for the council.

“We have not received any complaints about rats on the site but having now been made aware that this might be an issue, we will check the site and monitor the situation.”

The development was previously managed by Taylor Wimpey, but the construction company confirmed it had handed over control of the site to a management company.

“The development was completed and subsequently handed over to the management company in November 2020,” said a spokeswoman.

“Taylor Wimpey has no record of customer contact regarding the burning of commercial waste and members of the public inappropriately using the area.

“Taylor Wimpey is no longer responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the development and residents should report any ongoing issues to the council and management company.”