Bellway Homes, Buckinghamshire Council and the Environment Agency have kept contamination reports into a fire in Hazlemere hidden as residents call for them to be released.

Piles of rubbish were set alight on April 25 at a building site off Amersham Road near High Wycombe where Bellway has permission for 259 new homes.

The refuse, which burned for weeks, was dumped at the former scrapyard and bus depot by fly-tippers, according to Bellway.

The developer said it had appointed an independent contractor to carry out contamination testing of the land and had shared reports ‘on the contents of the waste’ with the council and EA.

Bellway has now removed the waste from the site at the instruction of the EA’s environmental crime officers.

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The contamination testing comes after some residents experienced nausea and headaches from fumes that drifted across the village as smouldering piles of waste continued to burn.

Many, including Hazlemere Parish Council, fear that there may have been harmful material in the waste and are demanding the release of the reports commissioned by Bellway in order to provide clarity on the situation.

The parish council’s vice chair Paul Fleming said: “No one has got access to the report. Bellway commissioned the report, and no doubt will consider the findings commercially sensitive.”

Speaking during the parish council’s most recent meeting, he added: “That is why they don’t share the findings publicly until the relevant agencies have had the chance to go through it.”

Bellway, the council and EA have all ignored requests by the Bucks Free Press to see the reports.

Bellway is understood to have told a resident of Hazlemere on June 6 that it could not release the reports because of an ongoing arson investigation by Thames Valley Police.

However, the force told the Free Press on June 5 that it had ended its arson probe, which was ‘due to be filed, pending further information coming to light’.

A spokesperson from Bellway said: “Clearance works to remove the fly-tipped waste have now been completed. We have written to residents to update them and to thank them for their patience and understanding whilst these works took place.

“The health and wellbeing of local residents remains our priority and we will continue to monitor and work with the relevant authorities at Buckinghamshire Council and the Environment Agency over the coming weeks to agree next steps ahead of a formal start on site.

“In the meantime, we have asked residents to contact the police or Bellway’s project team if they see any suspicious activity on site.”

The EA said anyone who suspects waste crime can contact its 24-hour incident hotline, on 0800 807060, or Crimestoppers, on 0800 555111.

Thames Valley Police said that anyone with further information should call 101 or make a report on its website, quoting reference number 43240191367.

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