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Final bill to clear site following A1 Supa Skips fire could top £1.4 million

It’s been revealed that it will cost £1.4 million to fully clear a site of a skip hire company gutted by fire in Lancaster last year.

People are being asked what action should be taken to battle the continuing dangers posed by fires at the former A1 Supa Skips building on the Lune Industrial Estate.

Lancaster City Council to aid the firefighting efforts and resolve the situation for residents and businesses, has already contributed up to £912,000 from reserves to test and clear the waste, meaning the main fire could be extinguished.

But it will cost at least another £450,000 to clear the site completely.

Following the main blaze in December, smaller pockets of fire continue to be found on the site and funding to remove the remaining waste has now run out.

To clear the site will require another cash injection, in addition to the direct costs incurred by the fire service in fighting the blaze.

Due to A1 Supa Skips Ltd being in administration, there is little prospect of the company directly contributing towards the site clearance costs, and to date no funding has been received from any other agency.

Now, activity could be paused at the site until further funding is secured, or public funding could be made available to provide the remaining works to clear the waste in full.

Before deciding which option to pursue, the city council wants to hear the views of local people and businesses.

A public survey has been launched and a drop-in session will take place on Thursday February 22 at Lancaster Cricket and Sports Club from 5pm-7pm to gather people’s views on options to clear the site of waste.

Councillor Phillip Black, leader of Lancaster City Council, explained: “The city council has no specific duty to manage this emergency, or spend our reserves dealing with it, but despite this we stepped up to the plate for the sake of residents, businesses, and to protect the environment.

“I believe that was the right thing to do, but this meant contributing just shy of £1million to help clear the site of waste, and to finish the job will cost another £450,000. To put that into context, it could add up to approximately 13% of our available unallocated reserves, or 7% of our entire net revenue budget for 2023/24.

“Rather than leaving the council to carry the financial can by itself, the question now is, do we now say that we’ve done enough and it’s time for others to dig deep and put their hands in their pockets?

“I would encourage people to have their say so we can understand public sentiment on this issue so we can decide what actions to take next.”

You can provide your views by clicking here 

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