Waste tipped on shoreline to 'prevent erosion'

A man who dumped waste over the edge of his property onto the Isle of Sheppey shoreline told magistrates he had done so to reduce the rate at which the cliff was eroding.

On 28 October, Sittingbourne magistrates heard that the Environment Agency had received complaints in July 2002 of waste being dumped over the edge of the cliff at a property at Bellfarm Lane, Minster on Sea, Kent. The area is part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

When Agency officers visited the property they saw that waste including metal, tarmac, plastic and cardboard had been tipped over the cliff. The owner, Francie Harris, admitted tipping the waste and allowing others to do so, but claimed that his intention was to slow the cliff's rate of erosion. He was told on several occasions that he could not tip waste over the cliff, but persisted in doing so.

Mr Harris admitted three fly-tipping offences under section 33 (1)(a) and (6) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. He was fined £1,750 with £1,249 costs.

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