A FORMER go karting site in Bradford is being investigated by the Environment Agency over a large pile of waste tyres currently stored there.

What was the Ontrak Karting track at Spring Mill Street off Manchester Road is currently home to a vast quantity of old tyres, some of them wrapped in bundles.

One local resident, who did not wish to be named, told the Telegraph & Argus there were so many tyres on the site she was concerned over the fire hazard this presented, so had contacted the Environment Agency about the issue.

Owner of the site, Jak Yaqoob, of neighbouring Car Empire, explained that his new tenant was simply clearing the tyres that had been left on the site since the karting track closed.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The Environment Agency is investigating reports of suspected illegal storage of waste tyres at a site off Manchester Road in BradfordThe Environment Agency is investigating reports of suspected illegal storage of waste tyres at a site off Manchester Road in Bradford

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “Our officers are investigating the operators of a site on Spring Mill Street, Bradford following reports to our Incident Hotline about the suspected illegal storage of waste tyres.

“There are strict rules governing the storage of waste tyres, which are designed to help prevent fires and to protect people and the environment. We have alerted our colleagues at West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service and are now seeking to determine if an offence has been committed so that appropriate enforcement action may be taken.”

Mr Yaqoob, told the T&A that a new tenant had recently taken on the site after the karting operation closed, and that he had agreed a rent free period if he were to clear the site of tyres, of which there are around 50,000.

“There’s nothing illegal going on any of my sites. What they are doing here is roping the tyres into bundles so they can be taken away. Nobody is bringing tyres on to the site.”

The T&A has attempted to contact the tenant through the owner and the agent.

The track site, which was originally a coal yard, is around 2.5 acres in total and runs away from the main street. Pictures taken by the T&A show large mounds of the bundled tyres as well piles of loose tyres.

A West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson confirmed that it was now aware of the site and that local crews are working with the site owner.

“Local fire crews have visited the site which is a routine measure for commercial premises in order to familiarise themselves with the site.

“The Fire Service routinely works alongside commercial premises to give guidance and support in fire safety matters.”

There are a number of rules around waste tyres, which are permitted to be used as crash barriers at karting circuits provided the operator obtains an exemption with the Environment Agency.

This allows up to 40 tonnes of waste tyres to be used for the specified purpose.

But even with the exemption, tyres cannot be stored in piles exceeding 10 tonnes and must have a gap between each pile as a fire break.

There are also other waste exemptions which apply to the storage and recovery of tyres, such as one for the small-scale recovery of waste tyres by baling, shredding, peeling, shaving or granulating. An environmental permit would be required for larger amounts.

Failure to register an appropriate waste exemption or environmental permit, or to be found in breach of the legally binding conditions of a waste exemption or environment permit is a criminal offence, subject to enforcement action by the Environment Agency.

In January, Northampton Crown Court handed a businessman a suspended jail sentence for illegally storing 1,300 tonnes of tyres - more than 15 times the amount allowed under the conditions of an environmental permit.