Three companies have pleaded guilty to charges relating to the illegal depositing of construction and demolition waste, for the purpose of building a haul road at Hurst Plantation near Doncaster.
At Doncaster Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday the 7th of May, Wykeham Estates (Northern Ltd) were fined £3,000.00 and ordered to pay costs of £5,500.00; additionally the Judge gave them an order under Regulation 44 of the Environmental Permitting Regulations for Wykeham Estates to remove the waste to a lawful disposal facility within eight months.
Westmoreland Waste Recycling and Bolland Skip services Ltd also fined and ordered to pay £5,500.00 in costs. It was revealed that the Environment Agency started investigations at the Hurst Plantation site in May 2011, therefore when members from the Environment Agency’s Environmental Crime Team visited the site they discovered that approximately 1,350 tonnes of waste had been unlawfully disposed of.
It has been reported that the Environment Agency also found a dirt track which had been turned into a road laying three of four feet above ground level; it appeared to me made up of soil, plastic containers, tarmac and waste metal as well as house bricks, breeze blocks and general demolition waste which was later found to contain asbestos.
It was said that the illegal waste activities were on-going between July and November 2011, the court was informed after further visits and investigations relating to the site and it also showed the involvement of the three companies.
During sentencing, District Judge Bennett stated how Parliament has made the Environmental Permitting Regulations to protect the environment and that the £50,000 statutory maximum fine in the Magistrates’ Court demonstrates how seriously environmental crime is to be treated.
He added that this was a reckless breach of the law by Wykeham Estates with the potential to cause environmental harm and that as both Bolland and Westmoreland have been in the waste industry for a long time, they should have been aware of the legal requirements.
Following the case, an Environment Agency Officer in charge of the investigation, said:
“Illegal waste sites and in this case, where asbestos and other harmful contaminants were found in the waste, has the potential to cause serious pollution incidents or harm human health.
“This prosecution demonstrates that we take waste crime very seriously and will not hesitate to prosecute if necessary, to protect the environment and local communities.”
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