Skip price rise could spark flytipping increase

Parking bay charges for skips are to increase. Picture: Andrew O'Brien
Parking bay charges for skips are to increase. Picture: Andrew O'Brien
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Builders have warned of a rise in the cost of home renovations after the city increased the price of securing space for skips.

Firms say that the move could also spark a rise in flytipping on street corners and at council dumps, as unscrupulous builders abandon trade waste illegally.

Until Monday, the cost of suspending a permit holders’ parking bay was just £40 for one week, followed by £10 for each additional week.

The cost has now been made uniform across the city centre, with the full pay-and-display charge being levied for suspending any parking bay.

One builder estimated that securing a parking bay for a skip will now cost hundreds of pounds per week – more than the cost of renting the skip.

Rory Forteath, who runs contractors McKenzie Hughes Ltd, said he was “astonished” when he heard about the “punitive” scale of the increase.

“We knew there were changes coming in, but we didn’t realise they would cost this much. They’re also making you pay up front. I was looking to get a six-month permit for a client, and it would have been over £3000.

“The cost of that will be passed on to the client. Just because you live in a smart part of Edinburgh, doesn’t mean you’re the wealthiest person in the world. An unscrupulous builder will charge a client that amount of money, take it away and flytip it.”

Mr Forteath added the new charges could also add to the cost of moving house, with removal vans no longer able to suspend a parking bay to load and unload.

Graham Low, manager of Joppa firm Summerside Skips Ltd, said putting up costs would see more companies evading payments.

He said: “This is just going to add to people’s costs. It’s going to cause major problems.”

Conservative transport and environment spokesman Nick Cook called for the charges to be reviewed.

Cllr Cook said: “This is using a hammer to crack a nut. We shouldn’t be doing anything that unnecessarily raises people’s costs who are renovating their homes, or gets in the way of local businesses. Everyone knows there is a real problem with flytipping, so we have to be careful that we change policies in a way that will have an adverse impact on that.”

Green councillor Nigel Bagshaw said fees were important to stop skips becoming a nuisance, but added: “If the charge becomes so high that builders start to bypass having a skip and ending up dumping in domestic bins or fly tipping then that is counter-productive.”

A council spokeswoman said: “The cost of suspending residential parking places now reflects the cost of suspending pay and display and shared-use parking places.”