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Thanet: Westwood fire clear-up yet to start as Environment Agency chase operator DW Land Ltd

Work to start clearing debris following a huge fire at Westwood Industrial Estate is yet to start as the authorities continue their investigation.

A burnt-out shell and mounds of ash are all that’s left of the building which is owned by British Virgin Islands-based company Conservation Property Holdings.

Firefighters tackled the fire for three weeks after 16,000 bales of illegally stored household refuse, wrapped in plastic, caught alight.

Rubble mounded up against the fencing (4951478)
Rubble mounded up against the fencing (4951478)

The operator of the site, Devon-based DW Land Ltd, was handed an enforcement notice to clear the site in May 2017 by Thanet council, which was ignored.

The Environment Agency say they are pursuing those responsible.

A spokesman confirmed: “We have worked tirelessly alongside our emergency partners to ensure that affected communities and the environment are protected.

VIDEO: Firefighters spent three weeks putting out the blaze

"Our investigations into the incident are continuing along with our focus on requiring removal of all waste.

"It is the operator’s and then the landowner’s responsibility to clear up the site.

"We continue to monitor the site along with our partners and are pursuing those responsible to ensure the waste is removed from site.

Piles of burned rubbish will need to be cleared (4951480)
Piles of burned rubbish will need to be cleared (4951480)

They say a time frame for removal cannot be given due to “legal reasons”.

Thanet council has secured the area.

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