Unsightly log pile set to be removed

The wood pile at Armstrongs Environmental Services Limited
The wood pile at Armstrongs Environmental Services Limited

SHOCKED Wigan residents have watched a massive mound of waste wood rise up before them.

This giant pile of off-cuts and furniture factory waste in Bryn was initially licensed by the Environment Agency but has grown to be an eye-sore for neighbours.

Watchdogs are currently investigating whether it has breached the terms of the permission - but in the meantime recycling contractors Armstrong Environmenal Services has confirmed its days are numbered.

The wood in the pile - which has 24-hour security guard cover because of a fear of arsonists and vandals - is used for the manufacture of chip board products. It started to rise over and above the compound fences of the company’s premises on Landgate Industrial Estate because of a backlog which has built up with the nationwide contraction in the building industry.

Armstrongs’ has now confirmed to ward councillor Gary Wilkes that it will start reducing the size of the mound imminentely.

And the company will not be renewing its license to store this by-product when the permission expires in April.

Some neighbours have been concerned about what could happen to their homes if the waste wood mountain caught fire.

They also claim that the pile creates an unsightly vista from their windows.

Coun Wilkes and colleague Coun Don Hodgkinson have welcomed the company’s confirmation that the wood pile will go.

Coun Wilkes said: “The owner told me that they were aware of the issue and the feelings of residents. They are working with the Environment Agency and now plan to start to remove the mound. The existing licence for the wood runs up to April 6 and they don’t plan to renew it and they are keen to work with their neighbours to alleviate any concerns that people have.

“And they wish to apologise for what has gone on, which has been beyond their control, plus the worries that the wood pile has caused for residents. They expect it to be well-gone by the first week in April.

“This pile is three storey high and at one time even had a digger on top of it and has been a real source of concern for residents and, with the large fires we have seen in Bolton and Leyland recently, who can blame them for being concerned.”

He said that the company ended up having to stockpile the wood because they have been committed to contracts to remove waste wood from the factories they serve.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency confirmed: “We are aware that waste wood being is being stored on this site.

“Armstrongs Environmental Services do have an exemption from the Environment Agency to store and treat waste wood provided it meets certain conditions and does not pose a risk to the environment or human health.”