Man ordered to pay £1,600 after dumping waste illegally

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A Castleford man who dumped waste illegally on land near Pontefract has been handed a court order forcing him to clear up the mess within 12 months.

Peter John Adams, 49, of Hillcrest Avenue, Townville, Castleford, pleaded guilty to three environmental offences before Wakefield magistrates today.

Adams was prosecuted by the Environment Agency after he dumped around 300 tonnes of mixed household and excavation waste on a plot of land he owns off Fairy Hill Lane, Pontefract, in 2014.

The defendant was the sole director of a house clearance business, Broadleigh Property Services Ltd, which dumped waste at the site, but there were no environmental permits in existence to allow such an activity to take place.

Chris Bunting, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, told the court that the illegal waste was spotted when an investigating officer visited the site in December 2014.

The officer wrote to Adams stating that he must cease waste activities on the site and remove the dumped waste by 28 February 2015. But a visit a month after the deadline revealed that the waste was still there.

The Environment Agency then served the defendant with a legal notice requiring the site to be cleared by 19 June 2015. But by the time that this second deadline passed, the waste had still not been removed.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said after the hearing: “Today’s sentence is a good outcome for the environment because the court order will force the defendant to clear the illegal waste from the land. Illegal waste operations can have a detrimental impact on the environment and local communities, and those activities that avoid regulatory controls often do not include the appropriate infrastructure required to protect the environment.

“Anyone who believes a waste company is operating illegally is urged to report the matter to our incident hotline on 0800 807060 so we can investigate.”

In mitigation, Adams told the court that he had been naive about environmental regulations, adding that his house clearance business had been reliant upon one instructing firm that had gone bankrupt, owing him £12,000. The court heard that Adams intends to clear the waste once he and his wife had sold their home.

Adams was also ordered to pay £1,600 in legal costs.