Rat infested rubble months after fire

Rodents have been spotted in rubble on Front Street in Stanley

Rodents have been spotted in rubble on Front Street in Stanley

First published in News
Last updated
The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Derwentside & Tyneside)

RUBBLE from a historic North-East building destroyed by fire has become infested with rats.

Concerns have been raised after rodents were spotted in the remains of the Elite buildings at the bottom of Front Street in Stanley, County Durham.

The Edwardian structure, a former dance hall, collapsed following a major fire at Wong's Chop Suey House in November.

Kathryn Cherry, who has two children at St Joseph’s Primary School, next door to the site, said pupils were not able to use the outdoor play areas due to the rat problem.

She said: “My children go to the school and they have lost a play yard since this happened.

“On Tuesday, we got a text message from school to say, ‘due to rodents nearby, the school car park and outside areas are closed’.

“Not only does the rubble look a mess, but it’s having a major impact on the school, the children’s education and now their health.”

North Durham MP Kevan Jones has written to Durham County Council urging them to take action.

He said: “It is a matter of urgency that we get these sites cleared.

“It is not good for people of Stanley to have rats in the area.”

Terry Collins, corporate director for neighbourhood services at Durham County Council, said a pest control officer is at the school everyday to monitor the situation.

He said: “We are aware of the problems and are working closely with the school to get it sorted as quickly as possible. Control measures are also in place at nearby properties.

“A notice was served on the owners of the demolished property last month to get the area cleared of rubble as soon as possible. If this is not done by the end of May further action will be considered.”

It is understood the Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Environment has been informed so licenses can be put in place.

Durham County Councillor Carl Marshall, who represents the area, said: “The site will be treated as a priority and I have assurances that costs of treatment won’t be an issue given the extent of the problems we are experiencing in Stanley.”

The fire, which is thought to have started accidentally in November preceded an arson attack a month later, further up the street, The second blaze destroyed part of a row of shops in a Victorian building and has left a charred shell.

Comments (7)

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5:19pm Thu 3 Apr 14

joedarlo45 says...

Well that reads to me that the reason for not clearing the site, is because the council as have not issued the appropiate notices for the owners to go ahead......tell me I have it wrong.....
Well that reads to me that the reason for not clearing the site, is because the council as have not issued the appropiate notices for the owners to go ahead......tell me I have it wrong..... joedarlo45
  • Score: 2

5:31pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Voice-of-reality says...

If every child and every parent picks up two bricks and puts them in their home binevery day for a week - much of the problem will disappear. A form of 'PE' weight-lifting exercise homework if you will.
If every child and every parent picks up two bricks and puts them in their home binevery day for a week - much of the problem will disappear. A form of 'PE' weight-lifting exercise homework if you will. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: -11

7:02pm Thu 3 Apr 14

rat man says...

The Council haven't had time to enforce their statutory powers in this matter, because they are too preoccupied showing off their Best Local Authority in The Country Award. There was never a problem when All Clear Pest Control had the school contract!
]
The Council haven't had time to enforce their statutory powers in this matter, because they are too preoccupied showing off their Best Local Authority in The Country Award. There was never a problem when All Clear Pest Control had the school contract! ] rat man
  • Score: 0

7:13pm Thu 3 Apr 14

rat man says...

joedarlo45 wrote:
Well that reads to me that the reason for not clearing the site, is because the council as have not issued the appropiate notices for the owners to go ahead......tell me I have it wrong.....
Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949
"(1)It shall be the duty of every local authority to take such steps as may be necessary to secure so far as practicable that their district is kept free from rats and mice, and in particular—
(a)from time to time to carry out such inspections as may be necessary for the purpose aforesaid;
(b)to destroy rats and mice on land of which they are the occupier and otherwise to keep such land so far as practicable free from rats and mice;
(c)to enforce the duties of owners and occupiers of land under the following provisions of this Part of this Act, and to carry out such operations as are authorised by those provisions."

Maybe if the Council put more energy into carrying out its statutory duties, instead of it's non statutory duties, then this site wouldn't be overrun with rats!
[quote][p][bold]joedarlo45[/bold] wrote: Well that reads to me that the reason for not clearing the site, is because the council as have not issued the appropiate notices for the owners to go ahead......tell me I have it wrong.....[/p][/quote]Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 "(1)It shall be the duty of every local authority to take such steps as may be necessary to secure so far as practicable that their district is kept free from rats and mice, and in particular— (a)from time to time to carry out such inspections as may be necessary for the purpose aforesaid; (b)to destroy rats and mice on land of which they are the occupier and otherwise to keep such land so far as practicable free from rats and mice; (c)to enforce the duties of owners and occupiers of land under the following provisions of this Part of this Act, and to carry out such operations as are authorised by those provisions." Maybe if the Council put more energy into carrying out its statutory duties, instead of it's non statutory duties, then this site wouldn't be overrun with rats! rat man
  • Score: 0

8:21pm Thu 3 Apr 14

bambara says...

Terry Collins, -" a pest control officer is at the school everyday to monitor the situation."

“A notice was served on the owners of the demolished property last month to get the area cleared of rubble as soon as possible. If this is not done by the end of May further action will be considered.”

"The Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Environment has been informed so licenses can be put in place."

So it burned down November, was then demolished when? Following this the council would no doubt have expected the owners to act, but as they have not acted the council has already last month served a notice on them, informed the Environment Agency and arranged for a pest control officer to be on site daily.

Well it certainly sounds to me like the council has taken action, and the issue is actually that the owners have not done as they are obliged to do by law.

So as pointed out "keep such land so far as practicable free from rats and mice" - NOTE as far as practicable. An order in place and an officer on site daily, and that achieved on a budget which the Tory government has cut, cut and cut again.

Good work DCC keep it up.
Or would you have liked the council to begin the legal proceedings to get the owners to clear the site before it burned down in November?
Terry Collins, -" a pest control officer is at the school everyday to monitor the situation." “A notice was served on the owners of the demolished property last month to get the area cleared of rubble as soon as possible. If this is not done by the end of May further action will be considered.” "The Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Environment has been informed so licenses can be put in place." So it burned down November, was then demolished when? Following this the council would no doubt have expected the owners to act, but as they have not acted the council has already last month served a notice on them, informed the Environment Agency and arranged for a pest control officer to be on site daily. Well it certainly sounds to me like the council has taken action, and the issue is actually that the owners have not done as they are obliged to do by law. So as pointed out "keep such land so far as practicable free from rats and mice" - NOTE as far as practicable. An order in place and an officer on site daily, and that achieved on a budget which the Tory government has cut, cut and cut again. Good work DCC keep it up. Or would you have liked the council to begin the legal proceedings to get the owners to clear the site before it burned down in November? bambara
  • Score: -2

9:47pm Thu 3 Apr 14

rat man says...

bambara wrote:
Terry Collins, -" a pest control officer is at the school everyday to monitor the situation."

“A notice was served on the owners of the demolished property last month to get the area cleared of rubble as soon as possible. If this is not done by the end of May further action will be considered.”

"The Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Environment has been informed so licenses can be put in place."

So it burned down November, was then demolished when? Following this the council would no doubt have expected the owners to act, but as they have not acted the council has already last month served a notice on them, informed the Environment Agency and arranged for a pest control officer to be on site daily.

Well it certainly sounds to me like the council has taken action, and the issue is actually that the owners have not done as they are obliged to do by law.

So as pointed out "keep such land so far as practicable free from rats and mice" - NOTE as far as practicable. An order in place and an officer on site daily, and that achieved on a budget which the Tory government has cut, cut and cut again.

Good work DCC keep it up.
Or would you have liked the council to begin the legal proceedings to get the owners to clear the site before it burned down in November?
This building was a public health nuisance long before before it caught fire. The roof was holed, and provided a night roost for a large flock of pigeons which blighted other buildings in Stanley including the the school, and DCC offices
[quote][p][bold]bambara[/bold] wrote: Terry Collins, -" a pest control officer is at the school everyday to monitor the situation." “A notice was served on the owners of the demolished property last month to get the area cleared of rubble as soon as possible. If this is not done by the end of May further action will be considered.” "The Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Environment has been informed so licenses can be put in place." So it burned down November, was then demolished when? Following this the council would no doubt have expected the owners to act, but as they have not acted the council has already last month served a notice on them, informed the Environment Agency and arranged for a pest control officer to be on site daily. Well it certainly sounds to me like the council has taken action, and the issue is actually that the owners have not done as they are obliged to do by law. So as pointed out "keep such land so far as practicable free from rats and mice" - NOTE as far as practicable. An order in place and an officer on site daily, and that achieved on a budget which the Tory government has cut, cut and cut again. Good work DCC keep it up. Or would you have liked the council to begin the legal proceedings to get the owners to clear the site before it burned down in November?[/p][/quote]This building was a public health nuisance long before before it caught fire. The roof was holed, and provided a night roost for a large flock of pigeons which blighted other buildings in Stanley including the the school, and DCC offices rat man
  • Score: 1

3:21am Sat 5 Apr 14

cunninglinguist says...

Does Mr Jones think that this is the only rat population in Stanley? You are never very far from a rat, there are plenty of other hidey holes for rats when the debris is removed.

Interesting that the Councillor Mr Marshall states that he 'has been assured that the costs of the treatment won't be an issue given the problems we are currently having in Stanley' - I may be wrong but this suggests that the Council are going to bear the costs of the clean up?

I would hope that the owner of that land is made to pay for the clean up and if the Council do step in in the interim, that the owner is sent the bill for the clean up following the Council stepping in.
Does Mr Jones think that this is the only rat population in Stanley? You are never very far from a rat, there are plenty of other hidey holes for rats when the debris is removed. Interesting that the Councillor Mr Marshall states that he 'has been assured that the costs of the treatment won't be an issue given the problems we are currently having in Stanley' - I may be wrong but this suggests that the Council are going to bear the costs of the clean up? I would hope that the owner of that land is made to pay for the clean up and if the Council do step in in the interim, that the owner is sent the bill for the clean up following the Council stepping in. cunninglinguist
  • Score: 0

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