Scrapyard in SSSI costs landowner £33,000

A Hampshire landowner has been fined £3,600 with £30,000 costs for running a scrapyard in a protected area, violating the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Christopher Ball bought a meadow on the Common with Bagwell Green and Shaw Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), between Basingstoke and Farnborough, in 2014. Shortly afterwards, Natural England was told that spoil had been dumped on the site and trees had been felled. The spoil was later cleared in response to an enforcement notice issued by Hart District Council that September.

However, in May 2017, Natural England was told that the site was being used to store truck cabs, car chassis, and various other vehicle parts. Action from the council, Hampshire Constabulary and Natural England followed, though Ball failed to cooperate and respond to their warnings. A closure order was granted in April and the site has since been cleared by Natural England.

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