Devon landowner took 23 times the legal limit of waste from haulier
Published: 20 Jun 2019

The Director of a waste haulage company and a landowner have been ordered to pay £6,435 for illegally depositing thousands of tonnes of waste on farmland near Tiverton.

In 2016 CB Plant Hire was contacted by a third party to use land off the A361 for the disposal of waste.

Following complaints, an Environment Agency officer visited the site and found waste being deposited on a large scale. The landowner had already partially filled a valley with waste and there was indication he intended to continue depositing waste.

The landowner confirmed he was using the waste imported by CB Plant Hire to return land formerly known as Tiverton Motocross back to agricultural use.

A waste exemption allows landowners to reuse up to 1,000 tonnes of soil and subsoil for specific purposes. But it was revealed that the landowner had accepted over 23,500 tonnes of waste at Tiverton Motocross and lacked planning permission from Devon County Council.

The landowner said that his farm business had been struggling financially and that he did not feel he had done anything wrong, as he had been relying on advice from third parties.

Marie Sinead Berry, a director of CB Plant Hire, whose Company transported the waste to the Tiverton Motocross site, admitted she had failed to carry out her normal duty of care checks and had "taken her eye off the ball".

Richard Tugwell of the Environment Agency said "it is essential haulage contractors and landowners are fully aware of their responsibilities when using waste and take action to ensure they stay within the terms of a waste exemption".

"This was a sustained abuse of an exemption for financial gain. Importing more than 23 times the maximum amount of waste to this site changed the appearance of the landscape".

Appearing before Exeter Magistrates, Marie Sinead Berry was fined £120 and ordered to pay £3,500 costs after pleading guilty to operating an unauthorised waste disposal facility between May and September 2016, contrary to the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations SI 2016/1154.

The Landowner was fined £265 and ordered to pay £2,490 costs after pleading guilty to the same offence. Both defendants were ordered to pay victim surcharge of £30 each.