Fringe Box



Letter: What Are the Political Parties Doing About the Stoney Castle Dump?

Published on: 3 Jul, 2021
Updated on: 3 Jul, 2021

Google Maps view of the controversial dump at Stoney Castle, Pirbright.

From: L Lynch

In response to: Pirbright Dump Being Investigated Following Reports of Toxic Waste Disposal

I read the article on the waste dump in Pirbright and I am appalled.  I don’t understand why Surrey County Council, which is the waste authority for Surrey, isn’t actively investigating and, if there is a crime, prosecuting those responsible.

I am a retired, usually very affable, grandmother but this has really got my goat.  I looked up the legislation and Surrey County Council has the powers to prosecute those committing the types of offences alleged but instead they seem to have allowed this site to operate and grow into an industrial scale menace?

It would appear that they have very little regard for the residents of Pirbright, their health, the local wildlife and the environment.

I’m equally shocked that the Green Party aren’t shouting about this from the rooftops and demanding action. And the Lib Dems, what are they doing?

See also: Dragon Interview: Mark Bray-Parry On The Latest Proposals At Stoney Castle

Didn’t Ed Davey put their latest success, at the recent by-election, was down to the fact that the party listened to the concerns of the electorate.  Well if Sir Ed can hear me, I am concerned!

I voted Lib Dem in the general election and the local elections because I believed they were prepared to stand up and fight on local issues.  I was obviously mistaken.

Labour was on the news recently also saying they won the Batley by-election on local issues.  Surrey Labour has obviously not got that memo.

Let’s not leave the Conservatives out, they have apparently been aware of this problem for years but chosen to take no productive action. No more flimflammery, we are not stupid.

I feel so disillusioned with all those parties who are meant to be representing Pirbright and Surrey residents and acting in their best interests.

Those living in Pirbright deserve better. Who wants to live with what is said to be “the largest illegal waste site in Surrey”, on their doorstep?  It’s bound to have a negative effect on house prices in the area, will SCC be compensating residents.  I doubt it.

Well done to The Dragon for bringing this scandalous situation to the public arena.

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Responses to Letter: What Are the Political Parties Doing About the Stoney Castle Dump?

  1. Sam Peters Reply

    July 4, 2021 at 8:53 am

    The Green Party have been working on this issue for months, in collaboration with the local Lib Dems – both locally and via our county councillors at SCC –

    • Daniel Hill Reply

      July 6, 2021 at 9:54 am

      It must be embarrassing for everyone in the Green Party and the Lib Dems that this has been a problem site for over 33 years and they only got involved after my petition and all my recent tweets. But they don’t mention that. Maybe I’m not the bad guy I am portrayed to be?

  2. Karen Lankester Reply

    July 8, 2021 at 2:13 am

    I completely agree with the letter writer. SCC councillors and the Greens have let it be known it is a landowner problem. Ultimately that may be true but they have already prosecuted the son of the landowner and the judge said SCC should have prosecuted the occupier and had a legal responsibility to prevent ongoing illegal toxic waste.

    How is it that the combined might of GBC and SCC cannot close down the operation and secure the site, but insists that the absentee landowner could evict them?

    How come after numerous site visits there is no calculation on the costs and methods of cleaning up this excessive waste dump? I have tried to understand the human rights angle too and find it incredible, after all these years, the Surrey lawyers have been unable to give due notice of intended prosecution and closure of a site without planning permission.

    Finally, why the silence from nearby Friends of the Earth, Extinction Rebellion and Pirbright Parish Council which, despite recent publicity, has not included Stoney Castle as an agenda item for their meeting next week?

    I believe it is because no one feels they can speak out because the local councillor Cllr Keith Witham (who represents Pirbright at bot GBC and SCC) is handling it and makes it very clear to those who raise this concern about polluted streams and acrid burning and the powers that be don’t want public “interference”.

  3. George Lista Reply

    July 9, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    The fact this never became a top priority for all parties years ago tells you everything you need to know. The first enforcement notice was in 1988, so it begs the question why The Green Party only started pulling their finger out in the last few months.

    • Mark Bray-Parry Reply

      July 10, 2021 at 5:23 pm

      Why pick out the Green Party? As the representative for Guildford, I was only born in 1987 and didn’t move to Guildford until 2005. The Green Party didn’t even stand a borough council candidate until 2003.

      We are a small party with limited resources. I became aware of Stoney Castle earlier this year and have been working with other parties to try and find a solution.

      Rather than criticise someone trying to find a solution, perhaps Mr Lista should direct his criticism towards the landowner who let the site as a scrap yard, or previous council administrations and the Environment Agency for not intervening earlier.

      Mark Bray-Parry is a spokesperson for The Green Party in Guildford

      • Daniel Hill Reply

        July 10, 2021 at 7:58 pm

        People expect more from the Green Party on environmental issues like Surrey’s largest illegal waste dump. And I think everyone feels the Green Party have let Surrey Down.

        I appreciate you only became aware of this site after I contacted you for your help and support with my petition asking Surrey County Council to prosecute the occupiers of the site. That was only a few months ago so we can’t really blame you for not doing more.

        But the same can not be said for your colleague Cllr Jonathan Essex. He was a member of Surrey County Council’s Waste Planning and Regulatory Committee. It can clearly be seen, from the minutes of numerous meeting over the years, that Cllr Essex and the Green Party have been aware of illegally waste dumping at the site since September 4 2013. So what is his excuse?

        Surrey residents deserve more, they deserve politicians to stand up for them and demand Surrey County Council bring those responsible for dumping waste to justice.

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