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Council to fund further waste clearance works at SupaSkips site

Lancaster City Council has agreed to fund further emergency works of up to £650,000 to bring the ongoing fire at the former SupaSkips site to a swift conclusion.

Waste continues to burn inside the former SupaSkips building

Waste continues to burn inside the former SupaSkips building

Following the major incident at the former SupaSkips site in Lancaster on December 3, a multi-agency response has been formed to manage the response.

Efforts to fight the blaze to date have been impeded by the large amounts of waste inside the building, which is providing fuel for the fire to continue burning.

Lancaster City Council, which has already contributed £262,000 to demolish outbuildings to allow firefighters greater access, has now agreed to fund further works to remove the bulk of the waste inside the main building.

Up to £650,000 in funding is being made available from the council’s reserves while contributions continue to be sought from partners and the Government to offset the cost to the council.

Without funding to support clearance of the waste, Lancashire Fire and Rescue will revert to a defensive approach which will mean the blaze could last for months and the risk of further fires will remain.

The longer the fire continues the greater the risk to residents and the additional funding from the council will now bring the fire to bring it to a swift conclusion.

Councillor Phillip Black, leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “Although the city council does not have any direct responsibility for this privately owned site we need a swift resolution for the sake of residents, businesses and to protect the environment.

“Rather than wait any longer for a decision over who is responsible and on possible funding, the council is stepping up to the plate to get the job done now.

“By removing all of the waste we’ll deprive the fire of fuel and bring it to an end in time for Christmas, which is good news for those residents and businesses who have had to put up with the smoke plume.

“However, that doesn’t mean that we are willing to bear the financial burden alone so we’ll continue to seek contributions from Government and the other agencies involved as otherwise this will leave a huge dent in our already stretched finances.

“We also have the longer-term problem of what to do with the buildings that the waste has been stored in. They were already in a poor state of repair and the fire has just made the situation worse, and this is something for which we will continue to press for action.”

Last updated: 15 December 2023

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