Illegal waste site operator banned from driving

5 January 2011, 16:34 | Updated: 5 January 2011, 16:38

Skip hire company owner Nicholas Fletcher has been fined a total of £210 and ordered to pay £150 costs after pleading guilty to running an illegal waste site in Maulden, Bedford.

He appeared at Bedford Magistrates’ Court on Friday (Jan 31) after being arrested by police for failing to attend court previously. 

The court was told that despite advice from the Environment Agency and eventually a notice to remove the waste, Fletcher continued to operate his business, Dunstable Skips, at Clophill Road behind Burgoine Business Park. 

District Judge Leigh-Smith also banned Fletcher from driving for six months. 

The site came to the attention of the Agency in October 2009 through an anonymous report of illegal waste activity, the court was told, and officers investigating found waste in skips and on the ground. 

Mrs Sarah Nicholson, prosecuting, said that on subsequent visits to the site there was always waste in skips and on the ground which included building material, wood, metals, plastics, and sometimes hazardous waste.

Fletcher, aged 23, of Church Road, Streatley, Luton told investigating officers that he knew he was breaking the law but would not have been able to stay in business if he had paid to be properly approved. 

Mrs Nicholson told the court that even up to 17 August this year Fletcher was still carrying on his business without a permit and in a way that could have an adverse effect on the environment, particularly the hazardous waste.

‘These offences were financially motivated. The cost of permitting this site would have been significant because before a permit can be granted, the site would have to be altered,’ she said. 

After the hearing Environment Agency officer Rob Stevenson said: ‘Unpermitted sites have an unfair advantage over those which comply with the regulations to protect the environment.

‘They undercut competitors which leads to more and more businesses operating illegally leaving the environment at risk.’ 

Fletcher pleaded guilty to: 

1.      Between 25 October 2009 and 31 March 2010 on land at 117 Clophill Road, Maulden, Bedford, Bedfordshire you did operate a regulated facility, namely a waste operation for the deposit, storage and sorting of waste, without being authorised by an environmental permit granted under Regulation 13 of the of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2007. 

Contrary to Regulation 12 and 38(1)(a) Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2007. Fined £140

2.      You failed, without reasonable excuse, by 29 March 2010, or at all, to comply with the requirement in a notice dated 26 February 2010 and served on you pursuant to section 59 (1)(a) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to remove controlled waste deposited on land at 117 Clophill Road, Bedfordshire in contravention of section 33(1)(a) of the said Act. 

Contrary to section 59(1) and (5) Environmental Protection Act 1990. Fined £70