A housing association has finally pledged to clear an alley plagued with asbestos after four years of complaints from neighbours.
Kathleen Petrides, 67, who lives in Hastings Road in New Southgate, has been calling for Notting Hill Housing and Enfield Borough Council to take responsibility after squatters dumped rubbish – including asbestos – in an alley overlooking her home in 2008.
She claims nothing has been done since she contacted the Enfield Independent in September and Notting Hill Housing said it would work with the council to find a “long-term maintenance strategy” for cleaning the area.
Following renewed pressure from the Enfield Independent, Notting Hill Housing released a new statement on Tuesday.
It said: “The council will be removing the rubbish this month and, as a goodwill gesture, we have offered to make a financial contribution towards this.
“In the future, it will be up to the residents whose homes back onto the alleyways to ensure the gates are closed to prevent further incidents of this nature.”
The council said the alleyways behind Telford Road and Hastings Road are not owned by the association, and it has been working with the council to tackle fly-tipping since buying homes in the area.
The council has installed gates to limit access to the alleyways, which the association said has reduced the problem, but not completely eradicated it.
Ms Petrides said: “I’ll believe it when I see it. I’m hopeful, but I’m still scared because I have been hopeful before and promised before and each time I’ve been let down.
“It’s such a huge problem; I’ve been trying to sort this out for years. It might not seem like much but it’s making me depressed.”
Ms Petrides said there is too much rubbish for her to move on her own, and specialists will need to be employed in order to remove the asbestos safely.
She said she has spent a “fortune” on pest controllers as the rubbish is attracting rats which have started burrowing under her lawn.
Without a speedy removal, she is scared the vermin will spread beyond control.
Her fence has started to rot due to the piles of rubbish resting upon it, which she said she will struggle to replace on her small pension.