Is this Birmingham road near Villa Park really ‘the grottiest street in the UK’?

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Deykin Avenue in Aston - just a stone’s throw away from Villa Park in Birmingham has been labelled as one of ‘Britain’s grottiest streets’ so BirminghamWorld went along to find out what residents say about living there

Residents have spoke of their disgust at living on one of ‘Britain’s grottiest streets’ where mountains of fly-tipped waste are so big - they can be seen from space.

The rat-infested scrap heap of junk has been blighting homeowner’s lives since being abandoned along Deykin Road, in Aston, Birmingham, in 2021.

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Locals say fly-tippers have repeatedly added to the 100 metre of stretch of alleyway over the last two years causing them to fear for their safety. The stinking 7ft tall piles now stretches almost as far as the eye can see and contains car parts, mattresses, fridges, beds, sofas and other household waste.

Residents say they now worry the festering mound - which can be seen on Google Maps satellites - could catch fire and explode.They say the problem has become so bad, they also cannot access their houses from the back and rats can be seen regularly scurrying over the rubbish heaps.

John Scott, 83, has lived with wife Wendy, 79 and their daughter and granddaughter in a house backing onto the waste-filled alleyway since 1996. He says they’ve ‘given up’ clearing away the rubbish as it simply returns overnight and Birmingham City Council has done nothing to solve the issue.

The grandfather-of-three, a retired former warehouse and transport manager, said: “I’ve done my part and tried to clean the rubbish but every time more piles appear.

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“There are beds, chairs, food rubbish, and mattresses and you can no longer get your car down the back of your house to park. There is currently no access to the back of our house because of the all the waste.

“I haven’t personally seen rats on the rubbish myself but I know there are lots of them. Last year we had some in our garden and had to get some rat poison to sort the issue. The council are not bothered about the issue and haven’t done anything.

“Most of the houses around this area are rentals and the landlords don’t seem to care about the environment and just dump their rubbish in the alleyway. It’s a disgrace and something needs to be done.”

Rafay Mhmed resident of Deykin Avenue, Aston, in Birmingham Rafay Mhmed resident of Deykin Avenue, Aston, in Birmingham
Rafay Mhmed resident of Deykin Avenue, Aston, in Birmingham | SWNS

Another resident, who did not want to be named, added: “People have said that this is one of the grottiest areas in the city - or even the country.

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“It’s not safe. There are gas cannisters in there and if they went up then it could be really bad as the houses are so close. It’s a massive health hazard, there’s lots of families along this street and we’ve got rats running around. It’s just grim.”

Locals say the problem has been going on for too long and many pin the blame on landlords of buy-to-rent properties and HMOS. Parents are also refusing to let their children play outdoors because of the rat infestation along the stretch dubbed the ‘Deykin Avenue Grot Spot’.

Rafay Mhmed, 27, has lived with his wife Amt-ul Qaddous, 28, and their two young children in a nearby flat for the last three years. The taxi driver said: “People are always throwing rubbish in the alleyway. Whether it is glass bottles, paper, wood or mattresses, it is always full. All the rubbish dumping happens at night, so we never see who does it.”

Fly tipping at Deykin Avenue alleyway in Aston, BirminghamFly tipping at Deykin Avenue alleyway in Aston, Birmingham
Fly tipping at Deykin Avenue alleyway in Aston, Birmingham | SWNS

Amt-ul added: “We have also seen rats in the area. My children are too small to be playing outside at the moment anyway but if they were older I still wouldn’t let them because I feel it is not safe or hygienic.

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“Instead, we would take them to the park as everything here is covered in rubbish. Since we moved in three years ago, the situation hasn’t got any better.

“I think people just seeing this area as a dumping ground now and continue to dump their rubbish. We have cleaned our spot in the alleyway where my husband parks his car so many times, but the rubbish always returns.

“We clean it because we want to change the habits of this area and want to play our part - but it hasn’t worked and the council hasn’t done anything about it.”

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