Explosions at scrap yard ‘shook the walls’

A SET of explosions, including one today (Tuesday) that could be heard a mile away, have been going off at a metal scrap yard in Hitchin, prompting questions over the suitability of the site.

H Williams and Sons allegedly see frequent explosions at its Cadwell Lane site, although these are usually deemed minor.

But this morning, there was one explosion which “shook the walls” of Shy UK in the nearby Bilton Road industrial estate, and was also heard by one resident who was based a mile away.

The explosion also left debris and dust on cars nearby, which H Williams have organised to be cleaned.

“This morning, the whole place shook,” said one employee at Shy UK. “It was really loud and blew debris all over our cars.”


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The explosions are amid an ongoing battle by residents to launch a fresh inspection into the site, following the decision in the summer by an independent inspector to impose no vehicle or noise restrictions on the company.

“Because of how the business has expanded, it’s not ideally located for the amount of business they are doing,” said Cllr Lisa Courts.

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“Despite what was said at the public enquiry, the company have done nothing to help residents.”

A spokesman from the Environment Agency said: “We are aware that there have been some problems with minor explosions at this site and we have been working closely with the company to ensure the correct processes are in place to prevent this from happening.

“H Williams has also been working with other companies who supply them with metal for recycling to try and minimise the problem.”

H Williams and Sons declined to comment.

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