A SENIOR Tory councillor has warned plans to empty and fill in a waste tip in Belmont could cause a repeat of the illegal rubble and rubbish dumping that scarred another development site for years.

Blackburn with Darwen opposition planning spokesman Alan Cottam spoke out against a bid for land reclamation at Springside Mills warning it might be ‘another Brokestone Road complete with baseball bats’.

Mr Cottam spoke out as the council planning committee debated the application for major works to take place at the former paperworks off Belmont Road.

Applicant Urban Springside UK wants to empty a waste dump known as ‘the New Tip’ of paper pulp dumped by former owners Kruger Tissues.

He demanded to know what the eventual use of the land would be and compared it to a plan for a golf course at land at Lower Whitehalgh Farm, Brokenstone Road in Feniscowles.

That resulted in the dumping of 70,000 tons of illegal waste between 1999 and 2000 and a £20,000 fine for a company director in 2003 for illegal fly-tipping.

Coun Cottam said: “We need to know what this land is going to be used for.

“I think we are looking at another Brokenstone Road here where the applicants said they were going to build a golf course but it never happened.

“Instead we got lorries coming from all over the area to dump rubble and rubbish complete with baseball bats.

“When people tried to prevent it, there were threatened by thugs with basesball bats. We don’t want that to happen here.”

Committee chairman Jim Smith dismissed his claims.

He said: “They are talking about reclaiming a site for possible housing development. This is work that needs doing.

“At Brokenstone Road you were talking about serious criminal activity. This is not the case here.”

As the committee approved the planning application for the work, he admitted that once the ‘New Tip’ was emptied it would need thousands of tonnes of rubble to be used to refill it and level the ground for development.

The land at Brokenstone Road is now being fully reclaimed to build a holiday village called Pleasington Lakes.