A LIVERY owner has criticised Darlington Borough Council for failing to deal with illegal flytipping near his business.

Bags of building waste, old televisions, Christmas trees, mattresses, and deadly asbestos are just some of the items that have been repeatedly dumped in Snipe Lane, leading to Newstead Farm Livery over the past few months.

John Auger and his wife, Sally, have run the business - near The Northern Echo Arena - since August last year.

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They have repeatedly asked the council to clear the mess, but to no avail.

Although Mr Auger does not own the road, he has offered to help the authority take action against the perpetrators but says he has had no response.

“We have logged five complaints on their website and each time they get closed down the next day,” he said.

“They claim they have no responsibility over the road, but no-one seems to know who owns the road.

“We pay thousands of pounds every year in business rates and domestic council tax and we get nothing back in return.

“It is almost like they would like to see the place close and go away than help us.”

The road is a public footpath and Mr Auger has often cleared the rubbish himself, as well as spending around £1,000 last year on repairing potholes.

“At one point there were beds and mattresses completely blocking the road, as well as Christmas trees, which we had to move ourselves,” he said.

“We are trying to run a successful business but this is making it extremely difficult - nobody would want to have to drive past that.”

Mr Auger has enlisted the help of Councillor Martin Swainston, who is calling on the authority to take action.

Coun Swainston said: “Fly tipping is a major problem in Darlington and it is getting worse.

“The problem we have in the borough is that unfortunately the person who is responsible for this is Councillor Nick Wallis and he is failing in his duty to deal with these issues.”

A council spokeswoman said: "We have been speaking with Mr Auger and we're aware of the problems he's been having with flytipping on his land and we're working with him to identify the culprits.

“The council focuses its resources on removing flytipping from public land rather than people's private properties."