‘Nui­sance’ scrap yard awarded re­prieve

Accrington Observer - - FRONT PAGE - JON MACPHER­SON jon.macpher­son@men-news.co.uk @JonMacMEN

AWASTE site hit with a 48-hour clo­sure no­tice for ‘nui­sance’ burn­ing has been given a re­prieve by a judge.

The T.H Smith site on Meadow Street in Great Har­wood was raided by more than 100 po­lice of­fi­cers on Wed­nes­day, Septem­ber 6, as part of a ‘ma­jor’ multi-agency op­er­a­tion.

Po­lice lawyers at­tended Burn­ley Mag­is­trates Court on Fri­day to ap­ply for a clo­sure or­der which could last up to three months.

How­ever the hear­ing was post­poned one week due to lack of court time.

District Judge James Clarke said the clo­sure no­tice would not be ex­tended fol­low­ing an ap­pli­ca­tion by the de­fence and means the site can be re-opened.

Si­mon Farnsworth, de­fend­ing, claimed there are a ‘num­ber of fac­tual is­sues’ with the po­lice case and the clo­sure ap­pli­ca­tion.

He told the court: “There is a dis­pute with the ap­pli­ca­tion it­self which refers to Tom Smith’s Scrap­yard which doesn’t ex­ist as an en­tity.

“As far as the map which the po­lice have pro­duced to say which area they want to close, that’s dis­puted be­cause half of the area doesn’t be­long to the de­fen­dant. It be­longs to some­one else who are not part of the pro­ceed­ings.

“The fires which have been pho­tographed on his land, he does have ex­emp­tions and rights where as the pros­e­cu­tion say he doesn’t.”

Mr Farnsworth said the case is ‘pre­dom­i­nantly about burn­ing’ and that an 18-tonne ‘air burner’ was re­moved from the site on Thurs­day by Hyn­d­burn coun­cil re­la­tion to an abate­ment no­tice and to ‘pre­vent the con­tin­u­a­tion of the nui­sance’.

Mr Farnsworth said: “It’s been taken. It’s no longer on the premises.

“The com­plaint is with re­gard to burn­ing. The item that was be­ing used to burn has gone and there­fore the need of a clo­sure or­der is no longer there. That’s sim­ple logic.”

The court heard that 80 peo­ple work for ‘var­i­ous com­pa­nies’ on the site and were ‘no longer able to work’ be­cause of the clo­sure no­tice.

Chris Keogh, pros­e­cut­ing on be­half of Lanca- shire Po­lice, said the clo­sure no­tice was de­signed to ‘tar­get the area where the nui­sance is com­ing from’. He said: “The is­sue of what is the cur­rent area is prob­a­bly some­thing that needs to be re­solved.”

The hear­ing will take place at Black­burn Mag­is­trates Court be­fore a district judge on Fri­day, Septem­ber 15.

The multi-agency op­er­a­tion un­der­way at the T.H Smith waste site in Great Har­wood

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