Once upon a time the Woodley Arms on Waldeck Street was a thriving and well loved public house. The brewery, Greene King, sold the pub when it closed eight years ago in 2012. It waited patiently as the years past and the developer submitted a succession of planning applications. It is now a very sorry and sad site with the former car park a sea of discarded furniture, tyres and general household rubbish in black bin bags.
This is private land owned by Lainston Woodley Arms LLP and it is their responsibility to keep the site in good order. Reading Borough Council (RBC) has limited powers to intervene but can take action against the owner. They said that they were doing this before the coronavirus lockdown but seem powerless to make sure that anything happens.
The history of the Woodley Arms fly tip
Once there was a car park where unauthorised parking took place.
Things stayed like that for some time, but gradually rubbish started to be dumped around the edges.
Fencing off to prevent unauthorised parking
The owners put up notices in October 2018 saying that they were going to erect fencing to prevent unauthorised parking.
Fencing was put up all round the pub and in November an abandoned van was burnt out.
Spring 2019 was fairly quiet but at the end of the summer a container appeared and about the same time the fly tipping began with a vengeance.
End of 2019 and beginning of 2020
Things definitely took a turn for the worse towards the end of 2019 and since then, well before the lockdown, the car park has just been one big flytip.
Several settees appeared, chairs and other items of furniture.
And now we are in lockdown
Every week the pile of rubbish gets higher and higher. The tip at Island Road has been closed since 17 March. RBC had suspended the pick up of bulky waste but this resumed on 29 April.
The car park dump has become a favourite spot for getting rid of large items and excess waste. Things will not improve unless the owners take action.
This is not Katesgrove’s only informal rubbish tip.