Two hauliers have received heavy fines for their involvement in illegally depositing waste at a golf range in Kent.
Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court heard that 2,157 truck loads of waste soil were deposited at the Great Chart Golf & Leisure facility in Ashford between 2012 and 2015, equating to 42,000 tonnes, significantly exceeding the 1,000-tonne limit allowed.
Swanley-based Mark Luck had deposited 1,292 loads and Robert Body Haulage based in Tonbridge dumped 715 loads during this timeframe. They deposited the waste soil to create bunds around the driving range, build a zorbing ramp and raise an area of ground outside the terms of three U1 exemptions that had been registered with the Environment Agency.
Only one of these exemptions may be registered on a site in a three-year period and allows the use of only up to 1,000 tonnes of clean waste soil in a small scale construction scheme. To import more than 1,000 tonnes of soil the operators should have obtained an environmental permit from the Environment Agency.
These permits require operators to put in place stringent measures to ensure the suitability of the waste that is deposited and minimise the impact from the activities on the land and the surrounding land users. Mark Luck from Mark Luck, who pleaded guilty to breaches of section 33(1)(a) and (6) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, was fined £40,000 with £4,036 costs and a £170 victim surcharge.
Robert Body from Robert Body Haulage, who also pleaded guilty to breaching section 33(1)(a) and (6) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, was fined £26,000 with £2,952 costs and a £170 victim surcharge. Brothers Grant and John Kay, who run the facility, both pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 12(1)(a) and 38(1)(b) of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.
They were individually fined £325 with Grant Kay having to pay £4,723 costs and £32 victim surcharge and John Kay paying £2,724 costs and £32 victim surcharge. Magistrates heard that all four parties were fully co-operative with the Environment Agency’s investigation and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.
The court accepted that the brothers had limited knowledge of the waste industry but that the hauliers - both of who have a long history in road transport - should have known better than to deposit large volumes of waste on the site. Environment manager Alan Cansdale said: “The Environment Agency supports the use of U1 exemptions for those who wish to use small quantities of clean waste in construction projects.
“We will not tolerate however the deposit of excessive volumes of inappropriate waste for financial gain under the terms of this authorisation. While we will work closely with businesses to help them comply with such legislation, in cases where individuals consistently operate illegally and in this case outside the terms of an exemption, we have no hesitation in prosecuting them.”