PICTURES AND VIDEO: Sheffield car park owners could face 50k fine and jail if huge rubbish dump is not cleared

The owners of a car park that has been blighted with tonnes of rubbish could face a £50, 000 fine and 12-month prison sentence if the site is not cleared up.

The stinking fly-tipped litter - which includes needles, furniture, suit cases, TVs and fridges - is piled high at the Chatham Street Car Park situated just a five minute walk from the popular Kelham Island suburb.

The car park.

The car park.

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It has been a problem for a number of weeks and has sparked complaints from motorists, who are charged £2.80 a day to park there, who branded it "disgusting."

Sheffield Council is now investigating and a spokesperson warned the site owners - Total Car Parks Ltd - that if it is not cleared up, and no evidence can be found to show that a third party has been dumping the litter, then they could face a maximum fine of £50, 000 and a one year jail term if convicted.

Mark Parry, the council's environmental enforcement team manager, said: "We held discussions with the managing director of the company about the seriousness of the matter.

"We sincerely hope that the company will clear the site to avert legal action."

The litter-strewn site.

The litter-strewn site.

However, the company hit back today and said they have provided "clear evidence" to the authority showing at least one offender dumping rubbish at the site.

A spokesperson said: "The driver of this vehicle has been on site 43 times that we are aware of since the fly-tipping issue escalated with up to four visits on some days.

"We hope to have a clean site available to our customers very shortly."

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Motorists claimed it looked like it had been left by rogue waste removal companies as a way of getting around paying for a licence to legally dump litter at official sites. Licences cost £154 and those who fail to register can be fined up to £5000 by the Government.

In recent years fixed penalty notices of up to £400 for fly-tipping offences have been introduced by the Government to save councils time and money pursuing court action for low-level offences.

A recent Freedom of Information request revealed Sheffield Council issued 41 such fines between May 2016 and October 2017.

The spokesperson for the car park company earlier this week described the offenders as "relentless" and added: "As soon as we clear the mess up the fly-tippers return."

They added: "We are working with a security firm and a number of waste disposal providers to clean and secure the car park for our customers. The cost of this operation is likely to run into several thousand pounds.

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"We offer competitive daily rates to our customers, we do not expect them to park on site while we deal with this problem and we have been corresponding with them daily as we work to resolve this issue."