The owner of a Buckinghamshire garden nursery has been fined £31,000 after refusing to stop dumping waste materials on neighbouring land.
Wycombe magistrates ordered John O’Callaghan to pay fines, costs and a victim surcharge totalling £38,185, believed to be the highest penalty imposed within the county for breach of planning regulations.
The case followed investigation and evidence-gathering for more than a year by Buckinghamshire County Council enforcement officers.
O’Callaghan, of Coxhill Way, Aylesbury, admitted breaching two planning notices served in March 2016, ordering him to stop importing waste on to land he rents next door to his nursery business in Aston Clinton Road, and to remove it.
The court was told he continued to import a mixture of household, garden and building waste on to the site and burn it on large bonfires.
Following complaints from neighbours in November 2015, enforcement officers visited the site. O’Callaghan failed to produce any authorisation allowing him to import and process waste so they took enforcement action.
The council received more than 100 complaints, and O’Callaghan was arrested in January this year after failing to appear at three previous court hearings.
Warren Whyte, Buckinghamshire council cabinet member for planning and environment, said: “O’Callaghan’s actions have resulted in untold misery for neighbouring residents and I applaud the determination of our enforcement team to prosecute this case, which is what our residents would expect of us.”