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An illegal waste operator and company have been fined for illegally dumping waste at a farm near Windsor. Mr Mark Jones, 49, pleaded guilty at Maidenhead Magistrates’ Court to three offences of causing or permitting the unlawful deposit of waste between August 2006 and December 2010 on rented land surrounding his property at Brayfield Farm, Windsor Road, Water Oakley, Windsor. He was fined £5,000, ordered to pay costs of £4,793.84 and a Victim Surcharge of £120.
Simpson Environmental Services Limited pleaded guilty to three offences of unlawfully depositing waste on the land between August 2006 and September 2011. The company was fined £20,000, ordered to pay costs of £4,793.84 and a Victim Surcharge of £120.
Yesterday, (Tuesday 6, August) the Court heard that Mr Jones owns a plot of land at Brayfield Farm in Windsor where he operates a working farm shop on site. Mr Jones rented a further portion of surrounding land from an offshore company.
Simpson Environmental Services holds an Environmental Permit, regulated by the Environment Agency. The permit covers the operation of a waste transfer station in Stoke Poges Lane, Slough, which is allowed to accept household, commercial and industrial wastes to be sorted and then removed from the site.
Between 2006 and 2011 Environment Agency officers visited the land Mr Jones rented surrounding his farm and found that an estimated total of 57,600 tonnes of waste soils had been brought onto it by Simpson Environmental Services and spread. During site visits Environment Agency officers told Jones and Simpson Environmental Services that permission from the Environment Agency was needed to continue bringing waste onto the site. This would impose controls on the activity to minimise its environmental impact. However, permission was never obtained.
The court heard that payments had been made by Simpson Environmental Services to Mr Jones for accepting the waste onto the rented land amounting to hundreds of thousands of pounds. In sentencing, the Magistrates took into account the huge amounts of money involved.
Environmental crime officer Tom Haysler said: “Both Mr Jones and Simpson Environmental Services Limited had been told on a number of occasions that they were acting illegally by tipping waste materials on land designated for agriculture, so it is satisfying that the court has recognised this. In this case it occurred on land directly bordering the river Thames and in the immediate vicinity of the Olympic venue at Dorney and close to Windsor Castle.
“Increasingly we are investigating the financial gains made by waste criminals where waste is being dumped unlawfully. We hope that these fines send a clear message to criminals that we are coming for them. We will continue to investigate illegal operators and bring them to court no matter how long it takes. Operating illegal waste sites is unacceptable and can have severe detrimental environmental impacts.
“People who operate waste sites need to ensure they have an environmental permit in place to do so. In addition, skip operators who pick up skips containing controlled waste are under a statutory Duty of care under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to deliver the waste to a regulated site.
“We would urge anyone who sees anything suspicious concerning the transfer and handling of waste to contact us immediately on 0800 80 70 60.”