EFFORTS to find a solution to the major problems caused by visitors to a bizarre tourist attraction in Buxton have stepped up a gear.
Residents in Harpur Hill, councillors and police have been working together for several months to try and discourage people from flocking to a disused quarry known as the Blue Lagoon.
The site has attracted hundreds of visitors to swim in the water - which looks like a tropical paradise but is actually only blue because of chemical pollution.
Pam Reddy, the area’s county councillor, said: “It has been a frustrating and distressing time for Harpur Hill residents who have been directly and indirectly affected by the issues caused by hundreds of visitors descending on this ‘dirty lime pit’.
“There is a serious risk to the health of visitors and residents. Many visitors are staying for the day or in some cases the whole weekend and there are no public amenities which means some parts of the site have been utilised for ‘comfort needs’.
“There is evidence of needles, alcohol use, human excrement, used condoms and used sanitary products. Food is being left which could attract rats, which is an unattractive prospect for local residents.
“Combine this to the health risk of people swimming in the contaminated water, often under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and it feels like a serious incident is inevitable.”
Posters and signs have been put up in the area surrounding the quarry, and placed in local shops, detailing the dangers of the water, which can cause skin irritation and even nausea, and a meeting between Derbyshire County Council, Derbyshire Police, High Peak Borough Council and local residents was due to take place yesterday (Wednesday) to discuss the issues further.
Locals are also organising a petition to gather signatures and have asked for permission to present it at a county council meeting on June 20.