John Jones Civil Engineering & Groundworks has been fined £50,000 for illegally depositing waste at a farm in Herefordshire.
In a case brought by the Environment Agency under the Environmental Permitting (England & Wales) Regulations 2010, Hereford Magistrates’ Court, on 3 July, fined the company £50,000 and ordered it to pay prosecution costs of £50,000. The court heard how between July and October 2014, the company deposited more than 5,000 tonnes of soil, stone, brick and concrete into two land hollows at Bage Farm, Madley.
The hollows were a habitat for great-crested newts, a European protected species, and the court heard how depositing of the waste had resulted in the disturbance, injury and death of some of the newt population. As part of the fine the court ordered the company to pay the costs that it had initially avoided in failing to lawfully dispose of the waste.
The company also had a previous caution for environmental offences committed in 2010 and 2011. In mitigation, the company’s barrister stated that the firm had pleaded guilty to the offence and had no previous convictions.
He also stated that the newt population had thrived in the time following the offence. Environment Officer Lyndon Essex said: “Waste crime is a serious offence with tough penalties as it can damage the environment and undermine those who operate legally.
“This case sends out a clear message that we will not hesitate to take action in the future to ensure the protection and well-being of the environment.”