On 11 November, William Wellings, pleaded guilty at Telford Magistrates’ Court to one charge of operating a waste facility without an environmental permit.
The 37-year-old was fined £3,200, ordered to pay £2,909 in costs, along with a £120 victim surcharge.
The charge was brought by the Environment Agency contrary to Regulation 12 and 38 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.
Environment Agency officers visited Hill Top Farm, Telford in 2013 where they met with Mr Wellings. He was advised that in order to operate a waste transfer station at the site he would need to obtain an environmental permit.
In March 2014, the Environment Agency received a complaint about waste and odour at the site. When officers visited they found approximately 30 skips of various sizes stored around the site. Most of the skips contained general household and clearance type waste, with some biodegradable material. There was also a large pile of general construction and demolition type waste on the ground. A cardboard box found within this waste contained the name of a local college.
Investigations found that the local college, whose name was found on waste at the Hill Top Farm site, were currently having building work carried out. It was confirmed that some of their building waste had been collected by Mr Wellings.
Despite visits and written correspondence to Mr Wellings no environmental permit was in place or applied for at the Hill Top Farm site. The site was also not engineered to the standards required to prevent any harm occurring to the environment.
Speaking after the case, an Environment Agency officer in charge of the investigation said:
Waste crime is a serious offence with tough penalties as it can damage the environment, blight local communities and undermine those who operate legally. We offered advice to Mr Wellings to help him run his business legitimately while protecting the environment but he failed to take necessary action. This case demonstrates that we will not hesitate to prosecute when circumstances warrant it.
In mitigation the court was told that this was a one off event that was not commercially motivated. The defendant had been under considerable pressure and was remorseful of his actions. He cooperated with the Environment Agency and there was little environmental harm.
Published: 11 November 2015
From: Environment Agency