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Fly-tipping and litter blighting former Howe Barracks near Legacy Park in Canterbury

The 11-acre Legacy Park at the former Howe Barracks in Canterbury has been welcomed as a new green oasis for the community.

But close by is a very different scene, with piles of filthy rubbish and fly-tipping blighting an area bordering a wildlife hotspot.

Piles of rubbish dumped at the site
Piles of rubbish dumped at the site

The appalling sight was photographed by former soldier John MacKinnon, who lives on the new Taylor Wimpey housing estate.

"It's an absolute disgrace", said the father-of-four, who served with 5 Scots when based at the barracks.

"The area is now clearly being used as a tip, which just encourages more people to dump rubbish.

"It's a hazard to children, too, with things like broken bottles and even dirty nappies.

"When I was here with the regiment, families took pride in their surroundings and would do monthly litter picks.

Appalling flytipping at the former Howe Barracks site
Appalling flytipping at the former Howe Barracks site

"It was immaculate and we wouldn't have been allowed to let it get like this."

Mr MacKinnon, who now works as a safety advisor, says the litter follows the fence line near Sobraon Way.

"People use the route to go for walks on the old training area but it's absolutely disgusting and I know quite a few residents are concerned about it," he said.

"I've tried to find how who's responsible for cleaning it up but everyone's passing the buck."

The site has a complex housing history with most former MoD homes being returned to owner Annington Homes, which has now leased them to the London Borough of Redbridge, which in turn rents them to its tenants.

Appalling flytipping at the former Howe Barracks site
Appalling flytipping at the former Howe Barracks site

City council spokesman Leo Whitlock said: "We join in the condemnation of the selfish and lazy flytippers whose actions are harming the quality of life of those living nearby and costing a number of organisations money that should be used on frontline services instead.

"While this is private land, teams from across Canterbury City Council are working with colleagues at the London Borough of Redbridge to find a long-term answer to this problem, including tracking down the perpetrators."

A spokesman for developer Taylor Wimpey says the land does not belong to them.

The MoD says the area concerned is managed by Redbridge Borough Council which is aware of the issue and "taking steps to deal with it".

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