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On 28 August 2013, John Roberts of Ludlow, pleaded guilty at Telford Magistrates’ Court to three charges concerned unauthorised waste management activities at Sherbourne Farm, near Ludlow. Mr Roberts (age 69) was fined 20,000GBP and ordered to pay 7,284GBP in costs, along with a 120GBP victim surcharge. The judge also granted an Order by the Environment Agency, requiring Mr Roberts to remove the tyres within three months.
The charges were brought by the Environment Agency under Regulation 38(1)(a) and Regulation 12(1) of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.
The court heard how the Environment Agency launched an investigation into unauthorised waste management activities at Sherbourne Farm, Nash, near Ludlow, after receiving information from Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service on 4 February 2011.
Officers visited the farm owned by Mr Roberts and found in the region of 12,000 to 14,000 waste tyres stored in the open around the site. In addition, they discovered an incinerator in use and a number of vehicles and vehicle parts being stored on the farm.
On 23 May 2011, Mr Roberts was served with a notice to remove the tyres from the site within an agreed timescale but he failed to comply. He was also served a notice to install fire breaks by 30 June 2011, to reduce the risk of fire on the site whilst the tyres were in the process of being removed. Again, Mr Roberts failed to comply with the notice.
Speaking after the case, an Environment Agency officer in charge of the investigation said: “By not holding an environmental permit, Mr Roberts has gained financially over other legal tyre operators and avoided legitimate costs of disposal. Illegal waste sites have the potential to cause serious pollution incidents or harm human health. This prosecution demonstrates that we take waste crime very seriously and will not hesitate to prosecute if necessary, to protect the environment and local communities.”