BUILDING waste found in the Leeds and Liverpool Canal is going to be cleaned up immediately, the builders alleged to be responsible say.

Several cement bags and other items were spotted in the canal which backs onto a £3.5million Hearle Homes housing development in Crossfield Street, Blackburn.

Kamila Przasnyska, who walks along the canal path on her way to work, claimed she saw builders throw rubbish into the canal and get caught up in the vegetation.

However, Mike Critchley, of Hearle Homes, denied these claims and said the items had appeared in the canal due to ‘adverse weather conditions’, and would be removed as soon as possible.

Miss Przasnyska, who works at the Asda supermarket near Grimshaw Park, said the waste was off-putting and spoiling the towpath walk.

She said: “It’s absolutely disgraceful.

“The rubbish is polluting the canal, we used to have birds that lived near there and they don’t anymore.

“You can see bits floating around and bits caught in the trees and bushes.

“I tried to speak to the manager but the workers always said there wasn’t one around.”

Plans were approved in July 2017 to build 25 two and three-storey houses, a two-storey apartment block with eight apartments, access, parking and landscaping.

Miss Przasnyska said the building work started in October.

She said: “It got really, really bad around Christmas with all the rubbish and so on.

“It’s increasingly worse.

“I’ve seen builders dropping building waste there, they’ve also cut down a lot of trees which used to be there.

“I’m worried wildlife might try and eat the rubbish and get sick.”

Mr Critchley said: “We are a local company. We are spending £3.5million on the housing development near the canal.

“The items ended up in the canal due to adverse weather conditions.

“None of the builders dropped anything in the canal.

“We are currently liaising with the Canal and River Trust, who offered to remove the rubbish on our behalf, however we are going to remove it.

“It will be cleaned up immediately, it is not something we condone.

“We are also spending several thousands of pounds rebuilding the canal wall near our site.”

The Canal and River Trust were contacted for a comment.

On the trust’s website, a spokesman said it cost the trust around £960,000 a year to clean litter from the UK’s canals and rivers, with around 300 pollution incidents recorded, resulting in 1,200 skips of rubbish being removed.

Anyone who spots pollution in a canal or river should contact 0303 040 4040.