Sailing boat fly-tipped in Totnes car park

Sailing boat flytipped
The sailing boat was found abandoned in a Totnes car park on 9 March. Credit: Devon Live

Fly-tipping remains a blight on many communities across the South West, with all kinds of rubbish being regularly dumped, including fridges, sofas and household waste.

Cars and caravans can occasionally end up being left at the side of the road when they reach the end of their usefulness.

But the owner of a sailing boat now appears to have taken fly-tipping to a different level - by leaving their vessel in a Totnes car park.

The boat – a Laser 2000 named Vogue – has been left in the Longmead Extension car park on a trailer for more than a week now.

The Laser sailing boat, which is one of the most popular dinghy's in the world, was left on a trailer. Credit: Devon Live

A quick Google search reveals similar models can sell for as much as £2,950.

It was served with a notice to be moved within two weeks on 9 March, but it is yet to be collected or moved.

South Hams District Council has threatened to take the boat away and destroy it if it is not claimed within two weeks – regardless of its value.

Councillor Keith Baldry, lead member for commercial services, said: “A 14-day removal notice was attached to the abandoned boat in the Longmarsh Extension Car Park on March 9th in the hope that the owner will remove it from the site.

The Laser is one of the most popular dinghy classes in the world, with hundreds of thousands of the boats used worldwide.

Although designed for one person, they can easily be sailed with two people on board.

Statistics for fly-tipping during the coronavirus pandemic have not been released yet.

Similar models sell online for nearly £3,000. Credit: BPM Media

However, statistics released by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs running from early 2019 to early 2020 showed a two per cent rise from the previous year.

Many councils have also reported surges in the practice due to tips being closed as the Government has urged against all but essential travel during a number of lockdowns since the pandemic started.

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