South Shields camper van owner wins battle with council after being blocked from using tip - but is left frustrated by permit scheme

A camper van driver who was told his vehicle was not allowed at South Shields’ tip has won his battle with the council – but still been left frustrated at the restrictive permit system.

Graham Scott is undergoing a huge renovation project on his home in the Mortimer area of the town, and has been taking his camper to the Middlefields Recycling Village to remove his household waste since December 2020.

But on a visit to the tip earlier this month he was told by operator SUEZ that his VW Transporter, which is fitted with seats and a kitchenette, was not allowed at the site anymore.

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The 40-year-old joiner appealed to South Tyneside Council and SUEZ over the rule change and demanded the reason why.

Graham Scott says the rules around campervans using Middlefields Recycling Village are restricting him from removing the rubbish caused by his home renovation.

But unable to get any clarity and with mounting waste from his home renovations, Graham paid for a private company to take some of his rubbish away.

He said: "It’s just ridiculous. I’m a joiner and I have the van for work, I don’t have access to another vehicle.

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"I had been taking the van to the tip for months and then they [SUEZ and the council] confirmed that they had tightened up the rules and I couldn’t bring the van as campervans were not allowed in at all.”

He added "I asked the council why they had changed the rules to see if they could give me a good reason why camper vans were not allowed in the tip… but they couldn’t give a reason, it’s so infuriating."

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After raising his issue with the Gazette, South Tyneside Council has confirmed that they have now revoked the rule, claiming it was an ‘administrative error.’ A council spokeswoman said: “We’d like to thank the Gazette reader for bringing this to our attention.

“Campervans, provided they are fitted out for use as such, are permitted at the Recycling Village with a permit.

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“They had been listed incorrectly on the council’s website due to an administrative error, which has now been corrected.”

However the permit system for the likes of caravans, which only allows up to 12 permits a year per vehicle, is continuing to cause a headache for Graham who will require more than 12 trips as his renovation work continues.

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“It is still an absolute nightmare for anyone wanting to get rid of waste,” he said.

"I am renovating my house so I can do one trip a week at the moment.

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"The council are saying; ‘you can use it but we’re only giving you the absolute minimum.’”

The council’s website states that the permit scheme is to ensure that business and trades people don't use the Recycling Village for commercial waste.

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A council spokeswoman said: “The 12 permits a year can be used any day, in accordance with the odd/even registration days.”

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