A mother and son have been ordered to pay more than £66,000 in fines and costs over an illegal operation in Essex where waste was stored far in excess of the site’s exemptions.
Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court was told that George Nicholas James Dench stored 14,700 tonnes of inert material on land at Great Horkesley, near Colchester, without permission.
He admitted running the illegal site and failing to comply with an enforcement notice from Essex County Council to remove the waste, and was told to pay £32,895 in fines and costs.
Annette Ismay Williams, who owned the land and is Dench’s mother, admitted allowing the site to operate and failing to clear the waste under an enforcement notice. She was ordered to pay £33,598 fines and costs.
Miriam Tordoff, prosecuting for the Environment Agency (EA), told the court that waste had been deposited there for two-and-a-half years by companies looking to dump materials, and they paid Dench £64,704 to do so.
Tordoff said an exemption registered by Williams allowed certain types of inert construction waste limited to 1,000 tonnes in any three years, and that was reached in the first month. A further exemption allowed the treatment of up to 5,000 tonnes of waste in any three years, providing it was also used on the same site and stored for a year only.
Between September 2012 and March 2015, the EA received 34 complaints about activities at the site.
Dench told investigating officers he had brought soils to the site to repair the bank of a lake while Williams said she did the admin work. Both said they did not know how many tonnes the exemption allowed for.
After the hearing, EA enforcement team leader Lesley Robertson said: “We advised the defendants several times against accepting any more soils at the site but they continued to take it.”
Simon Walsh, county council cabinet member for environment and waste, said: “Owning a piece of land means accepting a responsibility to the surrounding area and all that resides there, be it business, homes or wildlife.”