A BUSINESS owner fears dangerous fires 'could return' to a former plastic recycling site if thousands of tonnes of waste is not cleared.

Philip Rostrone, owner of Darwen Bed Centre in Grimshaw Park, Blackburn, said residents are 'waiting for action' after being told clearing the former V10 polymers site in Paterson Street would start in January.

The site was ravaged by four large fires last year, which involved scores of firefighters, Environment Agency staff and other public resources.

Mr Rostrone's business backs onto the site and has urged the sites new owner, Dennis Rogers, to act quickly to remove the thousands of tons of waste.

He said: "We were told in the public meeting at the end of last year work would take place in January to clean it up.

"Its now June and there's been nothing done, the rubbish is still there, its dangerous.

"The fire service wisely put the rubbish into piles to keep the chances of a new fire spreading to a minimum, but we are all worried about what could happen if it just stays there.

"I've seen people climbing into there at night and I'm scared to leave vehicles in my back yard because of it.

"Everyone just wants the site to be sorted out as quickly as possible."

Several homes had to be evacuated during the fires, which took several days to properly extinguish.

A section of the nearby Leeds and Liverpool Canal was shut off to avoid contamination spreading through the waterways.

A family of ducks were rescued during the second fire in September.

Mr Rogers, vowed to build affordable homes on the site in December after taking over the site.

Mr Rogers said: "We are working on clearing the site, it is a massive job.

"We are working closely with the Environment Agency to clear up the waste, which is one aspect.

"The other side is we are working closely with with the Blackburn with Darwen Council planning department.

"This does take time, we hope to see progress as quickly as possible."

Cllr Phil Riley, the council's regeneration boss, said: "The new owner is working closely with the planning department.

"The site is some concern, it is a concern to the council and to everyone living nearby."