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Land owners reminded of their responsibilities

23 June 2017

Landowners have been reminded that they must gain planning permission for waste disposal on their land following the successful prosecution of a Brentwood landowner. 

The owner of a site (known as Waterworks Spring Farm), within the Metropolitan Green Belt, was found guilty of the unauthorised deposit of waste and fined a total of £2280 (including costs) after the County Council discovered he was importing and and spreading of waste materials on his land in October 2016. 

Essex County Council, as the Waste Planning Authority, alongside the Environment Agency investigated the breach of planning control at the semi-rural site following complaints from local residents.  

The Council tried to deal with the issue directly with the landowner but eventually was left no choice but to instigate court proceedings. 

Councillor Sue Lissimore, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning & Property, said: “The outcome of this case has been a reminder for us that landowners cannot just dump waste on their land and get away with it. Breaking planning rules and causing damage to the environment will not be tolerated and the Court’s decision is to be applauded. Owning a piece of land in Essex means accepting a responsibility for the surrounding area and all who reside there, be it business, homes or wildlife.”

Kevin Rutterford, Environment Manager at the Environment Agency, said: “It’s crucial that all businesses understand their duty of care responsibilities for the waste they produce, who they allow to transport it and ultimately where it goes. 

“Too often, when these responsibilities are misunderstood or ignored, we see the impact of waste crime where waste is deliberately dumped on land illegally. This can cause serious pollution, put communities at risk and undermine legitimate businesses that are doing the right thing.  

“Even if the landowner has no involvement, legally they may still be responsible for that waste and that could mean a large clear up bill.”

To find out more information, or to report any ongoing concerns related to minerals and waste disposal activity please visit here.
Anyone suspecting any illegal waste activities, who has been approached to store waste or may currently be storing such waste are urged to contact the Environment Agency via a 24 hour incident hotline 0800 807060. Alternatively they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.