AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after tonnes of rubbish was flytipped in a layby – and some of the material appears to have come from a former pub site in Christchurch set to become a plush Raymond Blanc brasserie restaurant.

Shocked resident Derek Mason, who discovered the fly-tipped waste close to his home near Winchester, told the Echo that some of the paperwork is marked with the address of The Galleon pub. A box full of menus and assorted fittings was among the illegally dumped refuge.

Winchester City Council (WCC) says it is aware of the flytipping incident, and that its contents are being investigated.

The Echo understands a skip at the Christchurch site may have been recently stolen, and the rubbish inside later dumped by the thieves.

A WCC spokesperson said: "We are aware of the recent fly-tip at Ovington and have retrieved evidence from the waste, which is currently being investigated. We treat fly-tipping extremely seriously and will work with our police colleagues to secure prosecutions where possible.”

Mr Mason told the Daily Echo: "We live in a closed layby and a vehicle had reversed in from the main road, the A31, and just emptied its load and drove off again.

"It happened around 1.20am on Wednesday, January 30.

"I've got CCTV but because it reversed in at the layby, it didn't actually drive past our property. So all we got was lights in the distance, about 100 yards away.

"It must have been a tipper lorry because there is about eight tonnes of junk that has been dumped."

And it is not the first time the layby has been targeted in this way.

Mr Mason says he thinks the same person may have done the same about a year ago.

"It has been dumped in the same place and the same method."

Earlier this month the Echo reported that Raymond Blanc’s White Brasserie had submitted a planning application for The Galleon in Lymington Road, which has been closed since spring last year.

On the fly-tipping incident, Brasserie Bar Company marketing director Kathryn Coury said: "Although we are in talks regarding taking over The Galleon pub we are not yet on site.

"We can confirm that The White Brasserie Company is not involved in this incident in any way.”

The application, which was submitted to Christchurch Borough Council, includes a series of new signs and revealed the pub will be rebranded as The Oaks.

Mr Blanc launched White Brasserie in 2014 after the expansion of his established Brasserie Blanc restaurant chain.