Fury as 'slurry and waste dumped' along countryside path at Birdston near Kirkintilloch

A community council has expressed fears of a “potential environmental disaster” after a popular country path near Kirkintilloch remains blocked and waste dumped along the route.
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A waste management company have planning permission to infill the site of the former Birdston Coup and restore land to agricultural use.

However, the site operator blocked access to a public right of way in the vicinity back in November.

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They said it was for “essential maintenance work” but Brian J McFall, Secretary of Milton Of Campsie Community Council has described it as “a wilful destruction of nature.”

Slurry and waste has been dumped on a public walkway enjoyed by walkers at BirdstonSlurry and waste has been dumped on a public walkway enjoyed by walkers at Birdston
Slurry and waste has been dumped on a public walkway enjoyed by walkers at Birdston

The community council have complained to the council and the Scottish Environmental Agency (SEPA).

Mr McFall said: “This has the potential to be an environmental disaster. Those in control of the coup seem to be doing whatever they feel like, whilst the council shrug their shoulders and say it’s a SEPA issue. It is both your issues.

"The path from Birdston Road has been dug up and trees and habitat for wild creatures destroyed. That is not maintenance, it is wilful destruction of nature.”

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One local walker said: “The path is completely impassable as it is blocked by huge piles of what looks like slurry and waste materials.”

Local MSP Rona Mackay told the Herald she has requested “an urgent investigation" by SEPA.

She said: “This is a really disturbing development and I would urge anyone with information to come forward. The Community Council have played a leading role in both reporting and campaigning for the removal of this waste.

“Alongside them, I have contacted SEPA to request an urgent investigation into waste. Whilst they must have space to complete their inquries, I would expect an immediate response to my constituents and their concerns.”

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The Kirkintilloch Herald understands there was a site visit to the site by the council on Friday after they were contacted by the newspaper.

Ann Davie, Depute Chief Executive, said: "We have received complaints regarding the unauthorised closure of a core path adjacent to the site.

"From the site visit it does appear that access to this path has been blocked by both a heras fence at the entrance and soil bunds further along its length. This has been raised directly with the site operator and we will pursue reinstatement of access."

However, she added: "The site of the former Birdston Coup has planning permission to infill the site and restore the land to agricultural use. Planning and Environmental Health Services officers recently visited the site to review the ongoing works.

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"There was no evidence of any activities or materials being brought to the site which suggested anything other than approved land restoration was taking place.”

She added the materials being brought to the site were regulated by SEPA who were carrying out their own monitoring.

She said: "There does not appear to be any justification for the Council to take formal enforcement action on the operation generally at this stage.”

The Herald has contacted SEPA but has been unable to contact the company.

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