Meaning of waste rules at stake in incinerator case

A Nottinghamshire incineration business has been fined £500 after failing to comply with a notice requiring it to clear its site of several hundred tonnes of hazardous waste. The case has a wider significance in that it suggests that the courts will not follow slavishly a recent Divisional Court ruling which appeared drastically to reduce the scope of the waste disposal offence provisions in the Control of Pollution Act 1974.

The prosecution of Berridge Incinerators by Nottinghamshire County Council was the latest step in a legal saga stretching back to 1977. At that time the company was operating a hazardous waste incinerator in Hucknall, near Nottingham, but its application for a disposal licence under the 1974 Act was rejected because the site had no planning permission for that purpose.

In 1987, the matter went to the High Court, which ruled that planning

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