STAFF at a hairdressers fear a problem with flytipping will result in the streets being plagued with rats and a fall in business.

Norma King, owner of Head Case hairdressers, in Mill Hill, Blackburn said the alleyway next to her salon has been targeted by flytippers over the last three weeks.

The 57-year-old said the business faced similar problems with flytippers around three months ago with staff even spotting rodents.

Ms Kings said: “We’ve had problems with flytipping in the area before. It’s an absolute nightmare.

“We’ve seen rats the size of cats and with this rubbish here it’s only a matter of time before they return.

“It’s just been dumped there, it’s disgusting.

“It’s just a constant ongoing problem.

“For anyone who walks past in Mill Hill it is just an eyesore.”

Staff at the shop said they do not know for sure who dumped the rubbish near their premises in Grantham Street.

Numerous complaints have also been received from customers commenting on the rubbish outside the hairdressers.

They have contacted Blackburn with Darwen Council to try and get the rubbish removed.

However there are worries trade could soon be put off visiting the salon if something is not done soon.

Ms King said: “It’s been there for three weeks now, it’s not healthy.

“It’s really starting to smell and on hot days there has been a terrible stench.

“People are going to walk past and just not want to know.

“It will hurt our business and drive people away.”

Cllr Jim Smith, who represents the area on Blackburn with Darwen Council, warned they were aware of the issue and are intent on catching the culprits.

The Mill Hill councillor said: “It is an ongoing issue in that alleyway.

“You have to remember it is not someone coming in from miles away to do this, it is someone in that area doing it.

“We keep cleaning it up all the time but people keep dumping rubbish there.

“It’s disgusting, there’s no reason for people at all to be dumping rubbish, they shouldn’t be doing it at all.

“You can be assured we will catch the culprits.

"We have caught several fly tippers recently and we will make sure we catch the people responsible.”