Householders who dump domestic rubbish in a Huntingdon car park are facing £80 fixed penalty tickets after a storm of protests from angry residents.
Huntingdonshire District Council will also be monitoring CCTV footage from the Great Northern Street car park in a bid to track down offenders.
One woman who lives nearby said she had woken up to find a rat on her head and she believes rubbish left in the area has encouraged rodents.
People living near the car park have been up in arms about large piles of waste which have been building up in the car park which they believe are linked to the conversion of buildings to accommodation.
A householder who did not want to be named said residents had been complaining to the council for about four months after the situation deteriorated.
“I think everyone had had enough by Christmas because there was rubbish all over the place,” she said.
The woman said she had found rats in her house: “I thought it was a person walking up the stairs it was so loud,” she said. “I woke up and felt something on my head.
“I saw one in my garden this morning and put a strongly-worded complaint in to the council.”
The woman said she had been aware that the council had checked the rubbish to try to find who had dumped it and had put up a warning sign but did not think enough was being done to discourage offenders.
Claudia Deeth, community resilience manager at the council, said: “Following a complaint by a member of the public, the Council has been investigating issues with rubbish bags being left near Great Northern Street car park in Huntingdon.
“Our officers have visited the site and seized evidence from the bags identifying which residents left them. Subsequently, warning letters under S46 Environmental Protection Act 1990 were issued to these residents, and officers also spoke to the landlords advising them that it is their responsibility to ensure that their tenants are storing and disposing of their domestic waste and recyclables correctly. In addition, the Council has also written to identified residents of Ermine Street advising them that they too are at risk of receiving a Community Protection Warning.”
Ms Deeth said: “On Friday 23 March, officers found more evidence of rubbish left by residents who have already been issued with a S46 warning letter. They will now be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £80.
“A great deal of time and effort is being invested to try and resolve this situation and the Council will continue to monitor the situation. CCTV footage from the last 28 days will be reviewed to help identify those responsible, following which warnings or fines will be issued. The Council has also commissioned a sign to be installed at the entrance of the car park advising when residents can deposit their waste at the collection point.”