FLY-TIPPERS have been termed “sheer vandals” after dumping a pile of domestic waste and furniture outside a village church.

The heap at the St Margaret’s Church in Castledon Road, Downham, contained a range of radiators, sofas, blankets and ripped up carpet.

It has cost taxpayers £700 for the council to clear it.

Mr Baxter, of Louvaine Avenue, Wickford, said: “This was an act of sheer vandalism.

“Probably somebody has had this waste cleared believing it was going to be legitimately disposed of.”

Chelmsford City Council, who look after the land, was called out after the discovery and was able to remove the waste on Friday morning, the day after it was dumped.

A spokesman said: “Fly-tipping is a selfish way to dispose of waste, blighting our environment and potentially resulting in a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months in prison.

“As with all fly-tipping that occurs within the city, we are seeking evidence to identify and prosecute the fly-tipper and ask anyone who witnessed this taking place to contact us.”

Mr Baxter congratulated the council on its quick response to remove the dump.

He said: “They removed it very quickly.

“They had to take two trips in order to get rid of it all because there was so much of it.” The council spokesman added: “We urge residents to take reasonable precautions to ensure that their waste is being disposed of correctly.”