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Barking’s regeneration being hindered by litter and fly-tipping, property agent claims

PUBLISHED: 07:35 01 August 2018 | UPDATED: 07:35 01 August 2018

Rubbish has been piling up at the bottom of the stairs near Upney station for months. Picture: Rhiannon Long

Rubbish has been piling up at the bottom of the stairs near Upney station for months. Picture: Rhiannon Long

Archant

The state of Barking’s streets is hindering regeneration, a property development agent has said.

Martin said he'd like to see a regular programme of cleaners to keep on top of the area. Picture: Rhiannon LongMartin said he'd like to see a regular programme of cleaners to keep on top of the area. Picture: Rhiannon Long

Martin Wierzbicki, who lives on Meadow Road near Upney Station, has been complaining about the rubbish near the station for months.

The 54-year-old, who moved from Hackney last year, said the borough can never truly be regenerated when it’s streets are such an eyesore.

“Darren Rodwell is big on regeneration and the council is doing a lot of good work,” he said.

“But in my job I have to look at what helps areas, and this isn’t a great advert for Barking. It hinders regeneration.”

The bottom of the stairs sees a lot of pedestrian traffic from people using the station, causing more litter. Picture: Rhiannon LongThe bottom of the stairs sees a lot of pedestrian traffic from people using the station, causing more litter. Picture: Rhiannon Long

Martin’s complaints refer to the rubbish at the bottom of the stairs opposite Upney Station. He said there’s always been litter there, but since May, it’s gotten worse.

He said: “Those staircases are a magnet for rubbish. Before May, I was putting online enquiries on the council’s website every week.

“About six months ago, I spoke to a litter picker, who was there in response to an online enquiry.

“He said they don’t come there regularly – only in response to a complaint.”

The rubbish lines the stairs coming down from Upney station. Picture: Rhiannon LongThe rubbish lines the stairs coming down from Upney station. Picture: Rhiannon Long

Martin and his wife Lidia have made online enquiries, complained to the local councillor, and spoken to fellow residents in a bid to get the area cleaned up.

Because there are private renters, council housing, and home ownership near the station, he admits there’s a high turnover of residents, which is partly to blame.

But he also said if it continues, he’d consider upping sticks.

“It’s a horrible environment to be in,” he said.

Rubbish has been piling up at the bottom of the stairs near Upney station for months. Picture: Rhiannon LongRubbish has been piling up at the bottom of the stairs near Upney station for months. Picture: Rhiannon Long

“We bought a house wanting it to be a home, and now I’m trying to get the area clean to make it feel like one.

“But if it doesn’t improve I’d like to move on.”

A council spokesman said: “The location is a wind trap and is not aided by persistent littering and fly tips.

“Part of the issue is we can only sweep and litter pick in areas which are our land or under our remit. The banks and inside of the railings belong to TFL.

“This is a known dumping area, and even with a static cleaner, we would come back each morning to further rubbish.”

Since The Post contacted the council, a sweeper has cleared the site.

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