Waste operator’s prosecution sends a message to others

A WASTE operator has been successfully prosecuted by East Sussex County Council for failing to comply with a formal planning notice served on him.

Fred Ham, managing director of Sussex Waste Management Ltd, which operates from a site in Whitworth Road, St. Leonards, pleaded guilty at Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court on Friday 21 June 2013 to an offence relating to the manner in which waste was being stored at his premises.

The site has planning permission to operate as a waste transfer station, but the permission has a number of conditions, one of which restricts the storage of waste materials outside the building on the site.

Sussex Waste Management Ltd breached this condition by storing mixed waste in skips and waste soils on the ground, out in the open. Despite extensive informal negotiations the council was unable to resolve the situation.

In August last year the authority served a formal Breach of Condition Notice on the company, but not all of the requirements of the notice were met, resulting in court action against Mr Ham.

He was ordered to pay a £500 fine and costs totalling £606.25, while magistrates also reminded him that if he did not clear the waste and comply with the requirements of the Breach of Condition Notice, he could be prosecuted again for the ongoing offence.

Rupert Clubb, East Sussex County Council director of economy, transport and environment, said: “Formal enforcement action is always a last resort, and it is unfortunate that despite repeated attempts, we weren’t able to resolve this informally.

“However, this breach of planning control has had a harmful effect on the local area and is completely unacceptable, so we are pleased to have gained a successful prosecution.

“We hope this will send a message to other waste operators that we will not tolerate blatant and ongoing breaches of planning control on waste matters.”