Landscaper ordered to move dump

Traralgon resident Amanda Seabrook is being affected by illegally dumped landscaping material behind her house. photograph michelle slater

Traralgon resident Amanda Seabrook is being affected by illegally dumped landscaping material behind her house. photograph michelle slater

A Traralgon landscaper has until May 2 to remove stockpiled landscaping material from a vacant block on Park Lane after Latrobe City Council found the business was operating without a permit in a residential zone.

Latrobe City issued the order after numerous complaints from the rear neighbours who alleged airborne soil was entering their home and triggering their asthma.

Riggal Road resident Amanda Seabrook said she first noticed the landscaping operator dumping piles of soil, rock and sand around October last year.

"We started noticing dust and dirt in the house coming in through the air. We've been here for three years, and before this started, we didn't have dust issues," she said.

"It's worse on windy days and when he moves the soil. We have to keep the house closed up."

Ms Seabrook said she has seen material being moved around three days a week, including on weekends.

Ms Seabrook's daughter Emma said she first contacted council in January when she began linking the soil to her asthma attacks.

"My asthma and hay fever has been triggered and now I'm on daily tablets. I wasn't having trouble with my asthma before he turned up," she said.

Ms Seabrook said a council officer visited the site and the landscaper had put up a three-foot panel to try to stop the soil from blowing onto her property.

"It's still a problem every day. The fence doesn't stop the soil blowing onto our property. He doesn't use dust-suppressant or any attempts to cover it," she said.

Latrobe City Council general manager Phil Stone, a member of council's planning team, visited the site and discussed the issue with the company owner before the order was made to remove the materials.

"During discussions, council informed the land owner that using the site in this way is not permitted," Mr Stone said.

"There are a number of associated concerns with such a practice including health and environmental issues. Disposal of material like this can be done legally at any of council's landfills."

Mr Stone said council did not condone depositing or storing of material on private land without appropriate approvals.

"In this instance no such approval can be given as it is in a residential area," he said.

He urged illegal dumping to be reported to Victoria Police or to Latrobe City Council on 1300 367 700.

The Express attempted to contact the landscaper for comment but they did not reply before deadline.

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