Press release

Waste operator fined for illegal waste disposal in Devon countryside

Businessman Roger Baker has been ordered to pay more than £6,650 for illegally disposing of thousands of tonnes of waste on farmland near Exeter.

Brown soil covering a field just outside of Exeter
The field just outside of Exeter where the waste was illegally deposited

The case was brought by the Environment Agency.

In 2016 Mr Baker imported 7,514 tonnes of inert waste on a field at Poltimore, Exeter under the guise of ‘drainage’ works. This amount of waste far exceeded that permitted under an authorisation, issued by the Environment Agency, known as a U1 waste exemption. A U1 exemption enables waste to be reused without the need for an environmental permit but sets a maximum tonnage limit of 1,000 tonnes for soil and sub-soil.

The waste, from development sites around Exeter, was used to level off a significant part of the site, altering the character of the field and that of the surrounding landscape. The defendent not only failed to comply with the conditions of his U1 waste exemption but he also failed to secure planning permission from Devon County Council.

Richard Tugwell for the Environment Agency said:

This was a serious abuse of a U1 waste exemption which had a significant impact on the Devon landscape. People who use waste exemptions must ensure they comply with them and obtain appropriate planning permission.

Appearing before Exeter magistrates, Roger Baker, of Bovey Tracey, Devon, was fined £1,710 and ordered to pay £4,946 costs after pleading guilty to an offence under Reg 38 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016. The court also ordered Mr Baker to remove and appropriately dispose of the waste he’d illegally imported within 12 months.

The case was heard on 23 August 2018.

Published 5 September 2018