Published: 11:01, 24 February 2021
| Updated: 11:48, 24 February 2021
A resident has called for action over hazardous and "unsightly" fly-tipping blighting access to a gypsy and traveller site.
Burnt-out sofas and items of household waste have been dumped along the road leading to the Barnfield Park caravan park, near New Ash Green.
It has been branded a blight and a "health risk" by one regular commuter following conversations held with the local traveller community who rely on the route to bring children to and from school.
Donna Clarke, originally from New Ash Green, often travels through the area for work but was horrified by what she found last week.
She said: "I was completely shocked by the extent of fly-tipping.
"Not only is it unsightly but it is also a health risk."
"It is on a scale I have never seen before, especially close to people's homes."
The 60-year-old, whose mum lives nearby, added: "This is another story of marginalised people being ignored."
There are estimated to be around 100 people living on the caravan park.
But so far requests to relevant authorities to clear the debris and find long-term solutions have been ignored, it is claimed.
Kent County Council (KCC) manages the Ash Road caravan park, which it acquired planning powers over in the 1990s, and pitches are occupied with 999-year leases.
It says the access road is private and falls outside the responsibilities of its highways team.
Nevertheless, it added that it is working to "find an appropriate solution" with Sevenoaks, the district council with enforcement powers for fly-tipping, which explained it was also attempting to address problems.
It is not the first time the issues have been reported along the access road to the traveller site.
A previous council select committee report dating back to 2006 noted "fly-tipping sometimes occurred on the access road to Barnfield Park and that this required 24-hour security to fully prevent it."
Ms Clarke claims the problem has got worse during the pandemic and is now spreading to other areas around New Ash Green.
"This is not the only location where I have witnessed extensive fly-tipping and litter," she said.
"I drove on the A20 which has mounds of litter and fly-tipped rubbish alongside it from the junction with the M26 to the turning to Ash."
A spokesman for KCC said: “We are aware of the problem of fly-tipping on this private road which leads to the official gypsy and traveller site.
"We are working with colleagues at Sevenoaks District Council, which is the relevant waste authority, to find an appropriate solution.”
Sevenoaks council says it has also been made aware and is working with KCC to "deal with it".
A spokesman said: “KCC is leading on the removal of the waste from its land and we are leading on the enforcement to identify those responsible for the fly-tipping.
"Together we have been working alongside other agencies to address the issues on the access road and surrounding area.”
Rubbish can be disposed of legally at KCC's recycling centres or by using the district council's bulky waste collection service.