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Hunt for Burnley fly-tipper
FLY-TIPPERS have dumped hazardous asbestos at a popular Burnley beauty spot.
The material was left near the entrance to the Singing Ringing Tree on Crown Point overlooking the town.
Signs have been placed warning people not to touch the material.
Landowners United Utilities said it will cost several thousand pounds to have the asbestos removed by a professional contractor.
A clean-up operation will now take place in the next 48 hours, the water giant said.
Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle said he was 'horrified' that fly-tippers had targeted the popular tourist attraction.
He said: "Whoever has done this knows the disposal of toxic asbestos is very expensive.
"All they have done is dump it at a beauty spot and let someone else deal with it, adding the cost to water bill payers of Burnley who are really struggling at the moment.
"It is grossly irresponsible, extremely selfish and I hope they catch whoever did this and throw the book at them."
John Lofthouse, deputy chairman of Burnley and Pendle Ramblers, said: "It's a shame when people spoil thing for others.
"It is a beautiful place to walk and a vantage point for the whole area.
"Asbestos is hazardous material and I hope the water board come down hard on whoever did this.
"Flytipping is certainly something to frown upon, especially in a place of local beauty.
"Hopefully it will get removed before the weekend when most people use the pathway."
Sean Robinson, from United Utilities, said one of their rangers was alerted by a walker who spotted the waste.
He said: "One of our land rangers went up on Tuesday night to have a look and we put signs up for health and safety.
"We have contacted a professional contractor who will assess what kind of asbestos it is and remove it in the next couple of days.
"We suspect it was part of a metal theft when a skip was stolen in the Burnley area and the contents were dumped there.
"We have reported it and are waiting for the police to come back to us.
"It is definitely asbestos, we are now awaiting our professional contractor to inform us which category it is."
He said ultimately it would be water bill payers who foot the bill as the organisation will have to divert funds from other projects.
"This is money which would be better spent improving the water network in Burnley, not removing fly-tipping.
"We have various environmental projects ongoing such as opening up access to the land, tree planting and drainage for underground reservoirs but we will have to divert funds to get this waste removed safely.
"Its a sad fact that some people who drive trucks don't get rid of their waste properly as it is more expensive."
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