Ipswich man & Colchester firm must pay £14k for Brantham fly-tipping offence

Some of the fly-tipped material. Picture: Babergh District Council.

Some of the fly-tipped material. Picture: Babergh District Council. - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk contractor and an Essex-based company must pay £14,000 after waste removed during property refurbishment was found dumped in a Brantham layby in April 2013.

Babergh District Council officers traced it to Colchester buildings being renovated by locally-based Platinum Crown Investments.

It had been dumped by Ipswich man Conan Coles – not a licensed waste carrier – and a tracker in the van owned by Platinum Crown revealed he had stopped at a number of properties, then stopped in the layby, before continuing home.

Coles was found guilty of deliberately dumping the waste, not having waste transfer notes, and failing to take reasonable measures to safeguard the waste, along with failing to provide information to council officers, at a court hearing last month.

He had denied the charges, saying he put the waste into skips at his own property.

Coles was fined £600 and ordered to pay £3,000 in investigation and clean-up costs following the council prosecution, at a sentencing hearing at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Cyril Thomas, sole director of Platinum Crown, attended on the company’s behalf. The firm was found guilty of failing to produce waste transfer notes, and failing to provide information to the council.

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The judge said she was not satisfied it was doing enough when vetting prospective contractors. She added that Platinum Crown was running a substantial enterprise and had adopted a “cavalier” approach towards waste.

Platinum Crown was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £8,000 towards costs.

James Buckingham, Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils’ corporate manager for environmental protection, said: “The judgement makes it clear those companies which manage building projects are responsible for ensuring contractors move and dispose of waste in accordance with the law.

“Companies that do not are open to being implicated in fly-tipping offences.

“This conviction should serve as a warning to all businesses to ensure their waste is disposed of legitimately.

“Building waste dumped by the roadside is contributing to a £13,000-a-year bill for removing fly-tipped waste in Babergh alone. This bill is ultimately paid by taxpayers, which is totally unacceptable.”

In a statement issued after the case Thomas said: “Platinum Crown strongly refutes the charges made by Babergh District Council.

“Platinum Crown has acted in line with the advice given by the Environment Agency.

“The courts found Platinum Crown not guilty of fly-tipping although convicted on a lesser charge of duty of care which we believe is erroneous.

“The remarks made by the magistrate were completely unfounded.

“We remain convinced we followed best practice. Platinum Crown’s solicitor believes we have strong grounds to appeal the conviction and we are seriously considering our position on this matter.”

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