Calls for ‘unsightly’ litter at Royston Gateway Retail Park to be dealt with

PUBLISHED: 06:53 23 January 2020

Litter in and around the Royston Gateway development. Picture: Simon Macdonald

Litter in and around the Royston Gateway development. Picture: Simon Macdonald

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Businesses based at the Royston Gateway Retail Park are facing criticism over the amount of “unsightly litter” which is being left at the site.

Litter in and around the Royston Gateway development. Picture: Simon Macdonald Litter in and around the Royston Gateway development. Picture: Simon Macdonald

Royston resident Simon Macdonald contacted the Crow after taking pictures of rubbish in the Orchard Road park, surrounds and on the A505.

He told this paper that he goes past both McDonalds and the retail park every weekend, but there is "no comparison" - as the fast food chain employs a litter picker to collect bags and bags of rubbish.

"There's far more litter on the A505 by the retail park, in the retail park itself and on the edge of the park with Orchard Road and York Way - presumably because it is not litter picked or only infrequently," he said.

"The litter is unsightly and it's a bit depressing that it's been allowed to get into the state it is.

Litter in and around the Royston Gateway development. Picture: Simon Macdonald Litter in and around the Royston Gateway development. Picture: Simon Macdonald

"The staff of these outlets have clearly been unable to do much to resolve the situation assuming they are aware of the issue. I'd hope they and their companies are aware and trying to do something about it given all the current media coverage of the state of the planet.

"Much of the litter is plastic, bottles, bags and single-use coffee cups. A discarded tyre has been there for months. The litter blows into nearby fields, trees and hedges where I've seen kites, buzzards, kestrels, hares and sheep.

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"I don't know if the litter represents a risk to these animals nor whether any of the bags blowing across fast moving traffic on the A505 are a hazard as I drive down there infrequently."

Litter in and around the Royston Gateway development. Picture: Simon Macdonald Litter in and around the Royston Gateway development. Picture: Simon Macdonald

The Crow contacted the retail park's agent Bidwells, UK Car Parks Management which owns the car park, and businesses Aldi, Costa, and M&S - but only the latter has responded so far.

AN M&S Foodhall spokeswoman confirmed the business had been in contact with UK Car Parks Management, and said M&S want to provide the best shopping experience for their customers and are working with other retailers to reduce rubbish in the car park.

Mr Macdonald also raised the question of North Herts District Council's involvement.

He said: I have complimented NHDC on how clean Royston town centre itself is kept - I often see the men who are responsible for this and am impressed with their dedication and professionalism. They take a real pride in their work and keeping the environment litter-free.

Litter in and around the Royston Gateway development. Picture: Simon MacdonaldLitter in and around the Royston Gateway development. Picture: Simon Macdonald

"I asked NHDC if these workers could also clean the retail park and was put in touch with the NHDC contractors who might be responsible for this area. When I spoke with them, they said they'd need to get back to me - but perhaps it's private land?"

In response, Councillor Elizabeth Dennis-Harburg, NHDC's executive member for recycling and waste management, said: "While the council is not responsible for the cleanliness of the retail park, we do regularly clean the two adjacent roads - York Way and Orchard Road of litter, as well as providing an annual roadside clean of the A505. Looking forward, we will monitor the levels of litter on these roads, in-between our regular cleaning schedule and will liaise with the management company responsible for the retail park."


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