Petition launched over fire

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RESIDENTS in the New Deer area, concerned over a fire which has been smouldering at a local recycling plant since last summer, have started a petition.

They intend to forward it to Aberdeenshire Council calling for action to deal with the outbreak at the Keenan facilty, which has been smouldering since June.

The launch of the petition comes after a site meeting at the plant last month which was attended by community leaders, local politicians, residents and the Multi Agency Group handling the outbreak.

Residents living near the plant were again assured at the meeting that there was no indication of significant risk to public health from the deep-seated fire in an ash pile.

The Multi Agency Group involves the local authority’s environmental health service, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Grampian Fire and Rescue Service and NHS Grampian.

The group, which has been closely monitoring the situation at the recycling facility, has agreed the best course of action so far is to let the material continue to smoulder undisturbed in the interests of public health and the environment.

Experts have said that analysis has shown that the amount of smoke generated by the fire has decreased over time - but some residents close to the facility dispute this, maintaining fumes from the ash pile are still causing discomfort, depending on the direction of the wind.

The petitioners are also asking for a public meeting with the agencies involved, and claim the outbreak is continuing to cause “considerable nuisance” in the area.