RESIDENTS are breathing a sigh of relief after a neighbour, thought to be running a scrap metal business from his house, has been asked to remove a huge mound of rubbish and disused washing machines that had blocked a back alley.

Residents, and town councillors representing the area around Newton Street in Darwen, had been complaining to Blackburn with Darwen council about the increasing pile of rubbish after some residents were unable to wheel their bins past the mess ready for collecting.

The mound, which included washing machines, cookers and other domestic appliances, had been strewn across the alleyway at the back of a property, and then covered and hidden with a large piece of chipboard, which prevented other residents from passing by or moving their bins.

Ward councillor Roy Davies said: “A resident has placed a piece chipboard across the back so that he can collect metal.

“You can now see that the back of the row of houses is full of fly tips and contaminated bins.

“These contaminated bins will then have to either be emptied by the residents or paid to be moved by the council.

“Some residents have also been unable to get their bins past the mess in time for bin day, which means they’ll then have to wait for the next relevant collection.

“The fact someone is collecting this metal and piling it up is just making the problem of fly tipping worse - if one person does it, others think they can do it as well.

“I’ve complained to the council but we can’t carry on removing waste for people for them to keep doing it, they should be being asked why they can’t dispose of their rubbish correctly.”

Environmental services boss at Blackburn with Darwen council, Jim Smith, said the fly-tipping team had been made aware of the issue and were dealing with it.

Cllr Smith said: “On Thursday morning we removed around 20 bags of rubbish, however, it seems one resident is trying to run a scrap metal business from the back of his house.

“He is being asked to remove the items and the issue will remain ongoing.

“It’s not in our interests to move it for him.”