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New owner vows to clear tyre mountain

PUBLISHED: 09:21 29 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:48 07 July 2010

Businessman Roger Gawn last night vowed to finally bring to an end the decade-long saga of Norfolk's infamous tyre mountain.

And the new owner of the Tattersett Business Park at Sculthorpe, pledged to start immediately taking action on the massive task of removing the estimated 600,000 lorry and car tyres.

Businessman Roger Gawn this week vowed to finally bring to an end the decade-long saga of the infamous Tattersett tyre mountain.

And the new owner of the Tattersett Business Park at Sculthorpe, pledged to start immediately taking action on the massive task of removing the estimated 600,000 lorry and car tyres.

Over the past 11 years there have been repeated attempts to sort out the problem, which has been described as an “environmental ticking time bomb”.

Now, after seemingly endless debates, discussions, meetings and campaigns, Mr Gawn said he will start shredding the tyres and see the mountain reduced within eight weeks.

“As the new owner of the Tattersett Business Park I have taken on the onerous task of being the person responsible for seeing the mountain of tyres removed and I have already arranged for the area to be fenced for security purposes and to prevent any further illegal dumping of tyres,” said Mr Gawn.

Longer term plans involve creating a permanent tyre recycling facility for north Norfolk on the site.

He said that in conjunction with his architect he will be preparing an “eco-solution master plan” for the overall former airfield site for eventual submission to the local authority.

Mr Gawn, who is well-known in Norfolk as the owner of a number of landmark properties, including Melton Constable Hall and the Custom House at King's Lynn, would not reveal the exact purchase price of the 180-acre business park from former owner French bank Societe Generale, but said it was a commercial transaction and the price reflected the existence of the tyre mountain.

“This is certainly an onerous task that I have taken on with the purchase of the park. I have taken this on in good faith and there have been considerable behind-the-scenes talks with interested parties including Norman Lamb, North Norfolk MP, the Environment Agency, North Norfolk District Council and Fakenham county councillor David Callaby,” he said.

Mr Gawn considers his acquisition of the Tattersett Business Park a natural addition to his multi-million-pound regeneration of the nearby former RAF West Raynham where he is creating an eco-friendly village community.

Mr Lamb has been closely involved in efforts to find a solution to the tyre mountain saga bringing interested parties together and repeatedly calling for tougher tactics to see the situation resolved.

He welcomed the news of Mr Gawn's plans and described the latest development as offering a new opportunity to see something positive achieved. “Positive action on this problem has been long overdue and the acquisition by Mr Gawn presents us with a real opportunity,” he said.

He added: “If Mr Gawn's plans to get rid of the tyres come off that will be good news and the opportunities for a major recycling operation and the creation of new jobs are wide open.”

Mr Callaby also welcomed the development as a new dawn in bringing about the removal of the tyres. “I am very pleased that at least somebody has finally taken responsibility for these tyres; he is a brave man and is to be respected.

“In my role as a county councillor, I will continue to monitor the situation and make sure that things don't slide as they have done numerous times before,” he said.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said it was pleased that the business park's new owner was taking full responsibility for the illegally deposited tyres.

“We are waiting to agree with Mr Gawn detailed plans and hope for an early resolution to the problems of the large number of tyres on the site,” said the spokesman.

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