THE landlord of a three-acre industrial plot ravaged by a scrapyard fire has insisted the public will not be inconvenienced by planned future developments on the site.
Flames tore through premises occupied by Albert Hill Skip Hire, in Darlington, in May.
Since then, the burnt-out warehouse has been cleared away and work continues to shift the tens of thousands of tonnes of rubble piled up on the site.
Landlord Peter Foster, who leased the land to the skip hire firm, has plans to move his commercial vehicle business onto the site.
Mr Foster runs Albert Hill Commercials, which is unrelated to Albert Hill Skip Hire and is based in nearby Dodsworth Street.
Plans to move the business would be subject to Mr Foster obtaining the relevant planning permissions.
Darlington MP Jenny Chapman visited the site today (Friday, October 18), along with Councillor Nick Wallis, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for leisure and local environment.
Mrs Chapman said: “I am very pleased that work has finally started , residents have been at the end of their tether.
“My fear is that if the site is not properly managed in the future, then this could very well happen again.
“I want to know what the plans are for this site and will seek reassurances it is not going to cause problems for residents in the future.”
Mr Foster said Albert Hill Commercials is a professionally-operated business and sought to reassure the public that the site would not pose a risk in future.
The fire smouldered for nearly a month after being ignited on a Saturday afternoon at the end of May.
At its height, as many as 45 firefighters were tasked with bringing the fire under control.
Smoke from the blaze – which was second major fire at the site in three years – was visible for miles around.
In July, a court upheld a covenant banning the storage of waste on the site, meaning it could no longer be used as a scrapyard.
Coun Wallis described the fire as a ‘near tragedy’.
He said: “It was a very difficult blaze to put out and one of those fire officers could have been injured.”