The agency launched an inspection of Oxford Mill after receiving reports that the site, which had become derelict, was suspected of being used to illegally store waste. They discovered a false wall had been fitted inside the mill that was concealing 4,800 tyres, creating a significant fire risk and putting residents and businesses nearby in danger.
Working alongside Burnley Borough Council, Lancashire Fire and Rescue and the mill’s new owner, the agency was able to make sure the tyres were disposed of. A spokesman said: “If these tyres were set alight, perhaps through vandalism or by accident, the fire would have been very difficult to put out. It would also have produced a vast range of substances, many of which could harm the environment or human health.”
The mill, which is being converted into business units, had been left derelict for a long period of time and investigations were unable to establish who was responsible for the illegal storage of the tyres.