Farmer allowed dumping of hazardous waste on his land

Farmer allowed dumping of hazardous waste on his land

A farmer allowed dumping of hazardous waste on his land near Teignmouth, and as a result he has now been informed that he may end up going to jail if he is found to allow anymore illegal dumping of waste on his farmland.

The farm owned by Christopher Garrett was visited by Environment Agency officials following complaints from his neighbours, who made complaints concerning a large number of builder’s lorries that were causing problems locally, and obstructing the country lanes leading to the farm.

The officers issued him with an official warning back in June 2014, but Mr Garrett chose to ignore it and infact allowed even more waste to be dumped during the course of the next 13 months.  His land was then raided for a second time.

Mr Garrett was discovered to be burning illegal materials, including plastics, on top of a mound he had created out of waste at the top of the hill.

Other waste from the top of the hill had rolled down over time and covered the trees at the bottom.

The court was told that Mr Garrett had made a path down the side of the hill, which also contained hazardous asbestos tiles.

Farmer allowed dumping of hazardous waste on his land - illegal waste

Farmer is handed jail sentence

Mr Garrett finally admitted to allowing the dumping of hazardous waste on his land without a permit.  He was subsequently jailed for four months, which was suspended for two years.

The judge also ordered him to pay costs totaling £3,221.78 to the Environment Agency and to remove all the hazardous waste within the next year at his own cost.

The judge told him:”In layman’s terms, this was unlawful dumping of waste on your own land. It was a bad case because you had been warned about your future conduct in June 2014.”

“You carried on extending the area over which the dumping and burning took place and some of the tipping went into woodland. The waste included asbestos tiles, thus creating a health hazard.”

He went on to say, “This was a deliberate course of conduct. The case is significant. It goes without saying if there was a further offence of unlawful dumping there would be immediate imprisonment. It must stop.”

farmer allowed dumping of hazardous waste on his land - waste on farmland

Prosecutors have their say

On the prosecution side, Mrs Judith Constable announced that the first visit by the Environment Agency officials back in June 2014 uncovered evidence of waste being buried on the land, burning of construction waste to include plastics, and dumping of tiles, metal and wood down the hill.

They issued Mr Garrett with a warning letter in 2015 after receiving complaints from residents about a lot of builders lorries going up to the farm, and that’s when they discovered even more waste had been dumped.

Concerns were raised for trees in the area of woodland at the bottom of the hill because they had been partially buried.

Prosecutors say he would have needed a permit and planning permission to have handled any waste, but he was found to have had neither.

Mr Garrett’s defense lawyer said he had now applied for a permit to allow some waste disposal at his farm, although he did not have planning permission.

He stated that Mr Garrett apparently had no money and that his only income was a carer’s allowance he received for looking after his elderly mother.  He therefore had no idea how he was going to be able to afford to pay for the removal of the illegal waste.

 

Duty holders and employers have a legal responsibility to manage asbestos in their building so as not to put employees at risk. Contact our Armco office for asbestos management and refurbishment/ demolition surveys on 0161 763 3727 or by visiting http://www.armco.org.uk/.  Alternatively call 0161 761 4424 or visit http://www.armcoasbestostraining.co.uk/ for enquiries or to book a training course.

 

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Published Aug 03, 2016
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