The Environment Agency estimates that Red Jon Ltd held 1,790 tonnes of wood on its site in Watlington, on the edge of the Chilterns Area of Natural Beauty. But under a permitting exemption, only 500 tonnes may be kept in the same place for a week.
Pronouncing judgment in Oxford magistrates’ court on Wednesday, district judge Kamlesh Rana described the operation as “blatantly criminal”. He was told that the mountain of wood posed a significant risk of fire. Schools, homes and a park are near the site.