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Contractor fined for dumping waste in national park

4 Nov 10 A Devon contractor has been ordered to pay £5,000 in fines and costs for turning a field on the edge of Dartmoor into an illegal waste tip.

A Devon contractor has been ordered to pay £5,000 in fines and costs for turning a field on the edge of Dartmoor into an illegal waste tip.

The farmer who owned the field was also prosecuted and ordered to pay £2,500 in fines and costs.

The case was brought by the Environment Agency.

Plymouth Magistrates Court heard that, on 21 August 2009, officers from the Environment Agency and Dartmoor National Park visited a farm at Harragrove, Peter Tavy, after receiving a report of an illegal landfill.

They found a huge quantity of building waste, including concrete blocks, plastic sacks, wooden planks, slate roof tiles, plastic drainage pipes and a vehicle tyre, which had been recently levelled out and covered with excavated soil and stone.

The officers estimated the illegal dump contained approximately 100 tonnes of waste material.

Inquiries revealed that the silage clamp at Harragrove had collapsed during the summer of 2009, and that farmer Colin Abel had hired contractor Andrew Bellamy to prepare the ground and remove any waste prior to the construction of a new silage clamp.

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Bellamy admitted tipping waste from Harragrove onto a neighbouring field belonging to his father. He also admitted tipping tyres and storing and using excavation waste including hardcore on the same area of land.

The majority of the waste was unsuitable for recycling and Bellamy did not have the permission of the Environment Agency to store and re-use waste.

“Contractors should take every opportunity to recycle suitable waste, but they must remember that anyone who treats, stores, reprocesses, recycles or disposes of waste requires an appropriate Environment Agency licence,” said Sarah Taylor for the Environment Agency.

“We hope this case sends out a strong message to the farming community that farm tips are no longer acceptable and that the use of farm tips to dispose of waste is illegal.”

Bellamy was fined £3,500 after pleading guilty to disposing of waste without a permit.

Abel was fined £1,000 for failing to take measures to prevent the illegal disposal of the waste. Both defendants were also ordered to pay £1,500 costs each.

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