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Durham farmer fined for illegal waste operation

A County Durham farmer has been fined £1,600 for operating a waste treatment facility without a permit.

Stephen Anthony Suddes of Thornley Pit House Farm, near Tow Law, Bishop Auckland, was fined for burning a large pile of mixed waste, including green waste, wood, plastics, metal, rubble and soils on his land in May 2012.

Piles of untreated mixed waste were also found in one of Suddes’ farm buildings.

He was handed the fine by Darlington Magistrates after admitting one charge of operating a regulated waste facility without a permit.

In mitigation, the defendant said that most of the waste burned had come from his own premises, rather than from collections. He added that some of the waste on the burned pile had been fly-tipped on his land.

Environment Agency officer Andrea Wass said: “Waste facilities can pose a risk to the environment and local communities if they are not properly managed, that’s why it is vital that farmers, companies and individuals work within the rules.”

As well as the fine, Suddes was ordered to pay £2,909.85 in legal costs and a £160 victim surcharge.

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