Campaigners have pledged to continue fighting tooth and nail to stop a giant waste station being built near their homes.

Dump the Dump protesters met last night to discuss how to take forward their opposition to the site in Hollingdean Lane, Brighton.

Members agreed to start collecting their own rubbish, demand the waste part of their council tax back from the council and pay a private firm to dispose of it.

Campaign leaders reported one resident, who has asked to remain anonymous, has sought legal aid and is attempting to take the matter to judicial review.

A planning application for the facility was approved by Brighton and Hove City Council in June and last month the former abattoir and other derelict buildings on the site were demolished.

Since then, a handful of children have been removed from Downs Infant School in Ditchling Road, which has a playground 12 metres away, because of fears about pollution and toxic dust.

Deborah Spellman withdrew her daughter from the school after seeing men in protective clothing removing dusty materials.

At the meeting last night in Downs Junior School, Rugby Road, she said she took the difficult decision despite believing the school to be "one of the happiest and most welcoming schools in Brighton" which recently received a glowing Ofsted report.

She said: "We might not know for 20 years if any child has been affected but in 20 years any person responsible will be long gone.

"Brighton and Hove City Council is gambling with the future of young lives. I don't see any evidence to suggest the health and welfare of our children has come first."

Although invited, no one turned up to represent Veolia Environmental Services, the contractor that will build and run the depot, or Brighton and Hove City Council.

Nick Savvides, who also withdrew one of his children from Downs Infant School when demolition was being carried out, said all through the process the two parties had shown contempt for the community.

He said: "We need to show the council we will stand for neither their nor Veolia's sheer arrogance."

Ed Start, a founder member of Dump the Dump and a governor at Downs Junior School, urged campaigners to make their feelings about the council known at the upcoming election in May. At the planning meeting where the dump was approved, every Labour member present voted for the proposal. Greens, Lib Dems and some of the Tory Group voted against it.

Mr Start said: "We have been let down as a community. We have been lied to. We haven't got all the facts yet."

The depot would act as a stop-off point for all the waste from Brighton and Hove before being transferred to the Veolia incinerator planned for North Quay, Newhaven.

It would have the capacity to deal with up to 200,000 tonnes of rubbish a year.

Over the coming weeks, Dump the Dump will send Christmas cards to members of the council saying: "All I want for Christmas is for you to dump the dump".

It is attempting to raise funds. At least £4,000 is needed to pay for the legal costs it has incurred so far and more will be required if it is to continue.

Diana Leach, of Princes Road, who has a child at Downs Junior and who chaired last night's meeting, said: "If we want to challenge this, we need to find amongst ourselves the resources to do that."

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