Update: Fire at straw storage site
Mike Harrison, Sleaford REP Communications Manager reports on the ongoing response to the fire at a straw storage site near Sleaford:
"We are continuing with the removal of straw not effected by the fire and this is likely to take at least another 24hours. The straw on fire is under control and continues to be monitored as it is left to burn out, as is procedure and is recommended by the emergency services.
Some concerns have been raised in local press regarding the amount of straw and planning permission. As NKDC have said, no amount of planning permission would have prevented this arson attack. This was a purely criminal act which we fully condemn.
The site is an agricultural zone and it is being operated on the basis that this is an agricultural function and therefore permitted development. Some opinions have been expressed that the site designation should be changed to industrial, and while we dispute this, we have been actively in discussions recently with NKDC to clarify this. However, at no point have concerns been raised about the storage sites with Sleaford REP directly.
We wish to reassure local people that we are responsible neighbours and we will be operating a programme of works to clean up debris straw along local roads in addition to our ongoing cleaning works we operate as standard. Sleaford REP is a local business that supports a number of jobs in Sleaford and Lincolnshire more widely. It brings revenue to the local economy each year and therefore we view this as an attack on a local business. Work now continues with the aftermath of the fire and investigations are ongoing."