Landowner fined for illegal waste site

A Essex landowner has been fined £37,500 and ordered to pay £7,500 in costs to the Environment Agency for running an unlicensed waste site.

Appearing before Chelmsford magistrates court on 8 January, James Small pleaded guilty to five charges of illegally permitting the deposit and treatment of waste at West Hanningfield farm, contrary to section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Hazardous asbestos waste - which is supposed to go to a special site for disposal - was also dumped there.

The court heard that Agency surveillance teams noted controlled waste was being dumped at the site for about £20 per load.

Large deposits of waste were also regularly made by local businesses which already had waste management licences, but had decided to save on time, waste fees and administration by dumping at the site. Several of these were also charged for illegally depositing waste.

The Agency said Small was aware of the licensing regime because he also held licences for three breakers yards.

Mr Small was arrested in early 2006 on firearms charges. Business at nearby licensed landfills subsequently increased significantly.

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