Lincolnshire dirt bike track black-flagged over waste rules
Two Lincolnshire businessmen have been ordered to pay a total of over £15,000 for dumping waste earth at an off-road motorcycle practise track in Gonerby Moor, Grantham.
Ryan Wilson, 29, of Marston Close, Balderton, Newark, who is the sole director of Moto101 Ltd, pleaded guilty at Lincoln Magistrates Court on 4 March 2021 to a charge of operating a waste facility without an environmental permit.
Waste haulier GS Hughes Ltd, of Newark Road, Aubourn, Lincoln, pleaded guilty at the same hearing to an offence of depositing waste at the Moto101 site when no environmental permit was in force.
Both companies entered guilty pleas to offences of breaching their waste duty of care by failing to keep waste transfer notes to document the nature of the waste arriving at the site.
Ryan Wilson admitted that he had been granted planning permission to build a spectator viewing platform and had registered a ‘U1’ waste exemption for the site. The U1 exemption allowed him to accept up to 1,000 tonnes of soil for use in the project. However, Environment Agency solicitor Sarah Dunne told the court that this limit had been exceeded and that more than 20 times that limit had been brought in by GS Hughes Ltd.
Mrs Dunne told the court that the U1 limit exists to make sure that only small amounts of waste product are concentrated in one place. Projects requiring a larger amount of waste must be permitted so that the Environment Agency can manage and oversee the project to ensure that the environment is protected.
The material was brought in on more than 1,000 deliveries between March 2019 and July 2019 by waste haulier GS Hughes Ltd. GS Hughes Ltd claimed not to know that there was a limit on the U1 exemption, but the court heard that the company had almost 40 years of experience in the industry and had turned a blind eye to environmental regulations. They were able to deposit waste for fees lower than they would have had to pay at a permitted site.
Sentencing GS Hughes Ltd, the magistrates observed that this had been reckless offending with a view to financial gain. Fining the company £6,666, GS Hughes Ltd were told that they had undermined the regulatory regime. GS Hughes Ltd were ordered to pay costs and a surcharge totalling £4,964.
Solicitor Justin Atkinson, mitigating for GS Hughes Ltd, told the court that changes had been made to the company’s procedures.
The magistrates accepted that Ryan Wilson and his company, Moto101 Ltd, did not have experience of the waste industry but they were negligent in not checking the regulations. They were fined a total of £2,040 and ordered to pay costs and surcharges totalling £1,404.
Yvonne Daly, Manager at the Environment Agency, said:
The operation of a waste site without regard for the environment and the law have the potential to harm our natural resources and blight communities. It also undermines legitimate businesses that do follow the rules, and enables the offender to gain an unfair commercial advantage over them.
Our role is to protect the environment for people and wildlife, and to create a level playing field for waste businesses, so we won’t hesitate to take action against those who put it at risk. And to businesses flouting the rules our message is clear: you won’t get away with it.
Anyone who suspects illegal waste activity is reminded to report it to our 24-hour hotline by calling 0800 80 70 60, or anonymously contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.