THERE are demands for a public meeting to be held after a blaze ripped through a waste depot.

The Brighton and Hove Green Party has joined furious residents in calls for answers after a major fire erupted at the Veolia depot in Hollingdean Lane last Sunday.

At the time, a East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said it was of high importance that residents in the area kept their doors and windows shut.

It later emerged a 74-year-old man was diagnosed with a chemical lung condition after the fumes poured into his council flat.

Now councillors are demanding Veolia meet with residents to address concerns.

And the Green Party has renewed its calls for the council to revisit the terms of the 25-year waste management contract it has with the company.

Green councillor for Hollingdean and Stanmer, Martin Osborne, said: “This is now the second fire at the Hollingdean waste transfer facility in recent years – and Veolia must provide assurances on public safety.

“Above all, residents woken by smoke and smell from the site will want to know that this will not happen again.

“Site staff must also be given reassurance about the safety of their workplace.

“Veolia, the private company contracted to manage the city’s waste processing, must share their damage assessment and explain if sprinklers and other safety systems are in place.”

Many residents were not even made aware of the fire.

Caroline Lucas MP said she was particularly concerned that residents were not kept informed by the company.

Cllr Osbourne added: “I welcome news that the council will now review its procedures for warning residents about safety concerns.

“Greens urge the council to encourage an open meeting with Veolia, so residents can voice their concerns and understand what preventative actions will be taken.”

Fire crews wearing breathing apparatus battled the blaze for 12 hours and eventually brought it under control.

A fire chief revealed the likely cause of the major fire was disposable barbecue being thrown away in a communal domestic waste bin.

Councillor Pete West, Green spokesperson for environment, transport and sustainability, added: “Sadly this latest fire is yet another reminder that the city’s waste processing system is not fit for purpose.

“Greens want to see the restrictive waste contract with private company Veolia reviewed.

“This will ensure food waste is treated as a useful resource.”