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HMRC to decide on Waste4Fuel’s winding up

Insolvency experts overseeing the company that abandoned a huge waste pile in Orpington, Kent, has asked for it to be wound up.

Waste4Fuel’s 18 creditors have filed claims totalling more than £680,000. But Ian Franses, who has been managing a credit agreement for the business, said only £1,600 was available. A voluntary arrangement has now been terminated.

In a document filed to Companies House, Franses said the business had, since December 2013, been required to pay monthly contributions of £4,000 for 60 months – a total of £240,000.

Waste4Fuel has paid only £9,000 and, on 1 August 2014, it was served with a notice over arrears of £19,000.

The company did not remedy the breach and the voluntary arrangement had failed, Franses said. The remaining funds were not enough to pay £3,000 for a petition for the winding up of the company, and its main creditors had declined to contribute the additional £1,400 required to initiate the process.

He said he believes that it would be “in the public interest” for the petition to be issued so that the company’s affairs can be fully investigated by officers of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ insolvency service.

Franses said HM Revenues & Customs (HMRC) had “verbally advised it might be prepared” to accept the £1,600 and issue a petition, but HMRC told MRW it would not comment on individual cases.

As much as 15,000 tonnes of waste were abandoned at Waste4Fuel’s site, which led to frequent outbreaks of fire and great discontent among residents.

The Environment Agency has removed some materials to reduce the fire risk and revoked the company’s permit, but has maintained that responsibility for clearing the site lies with Waste4Fuel.

In September 2014, the company’s last remaining director, Shelley Hurst, resigned from her position.

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