Rats set up home in mountain of rubbish at Wick's Kennedy Terrace
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Residents on a Wick street have had enough of the illegal dumping which has turned part of the area into a haven for rats.
A source who lives in the area contacted the paper to draw attention to the problem of fly-tipping at vacant flats which lie boarded up at 32-38 Kennedy Terrace and said they had experienced intimidation from the people dumping the rubbish there.
"A few people who live on the street have been targeted for reporting the problem by other residents of Kennedy Terrace who openly fly-tip," said the source.
The person claims that the street has become a "hot fly-tipping area" since the first lockdown last year and "numerous rats" have set up home in the mountain of rubbish that has accumulated in the gardens of the empty properties. A photograph was supplied of a live rat that the person claims emerged from the jumble of furniture and household appliances after a heavy shower had soaked it.
Around the boarded-up houses at 32-38 is a mix of bulky items including around 10 widescreen TVs, children's toys, prams, buggies, carpets, sofas, beds, gardening equipment, fridges, washing machines and cookers. Over the back garden fence lie piles of fly-tipped rubbish, scattered within trees, that appears to have been in situ for several years.
The source who contacted the paper claims that they had informed Highland Council of the issue and shown evidence of the rat problem but to no avail. "Due to the fly-tipping [being] on private land, the council have not done anything," they said. "This is a health risk and they should fix a camera to a lamppost to prevent this from happening again. There are good residents here who are sick of this."
Despite the fact that three of the four former council flats have been sold at online auctions recently, there is no sign of any activity there and the windows are all boarded-up. The Zoopla property guide for 36 Kennedy Terrace, sold by Online Property Auctions Scotland Ltd, stated that the "fantastic" two bedroom flat is in a "picturesque location [on a] quiet residential street, within walking distance to the city centre" and all local amenities.
An agent for the auction company confirmed today that three of the four flats have sold and anyone interested in the last property, number 38, would "have to act fast" if they wanted it. The four adjoining "cottage-style flats" in the Pulteneytown area, originally came up for auction in April 2020 with a guide price of £34,000 each and sold as individual lots. Number 38 is likely to sell well under the original guide price with the Glasgow-based agent talking of a figure around £22,000.
"There are people who have lived here for years and they think they run the street and can go around intimidating others. It's just a handful of problem residents who are causing the trouble and there are a lot of good, hard-working people here," said the local source. "They give Kennedy [Terrace] such a bad reputation and you don't want to cross them. We all have to live in a society with rules and regulations and all it needs is a bit of discipline."
The unnamed resident said they were delighted that the paper was helping to find a solution to the issue and that many on the street were "fed up and appalled by a lack of support from the council".
"Something needs to be done to stop this appalling behaviour," they added.
A spokesperson for the Highland Council said: “The Council is aware of concerns in the area on fly-tipping and rodent sightings and are investigating the matters. We encourage people in the area to continue reporting cases and vehicles involved in fly-tipping to the Council. If the people fly-tipping are identified they will be issued with a fixed penalty notice for £200.”