Agency’s ban for illegal rubbish tip
PEOPLE have been banned from a Northumberland site blighted by rubbish dumping and burning.
The Environment Agency has used new powers to ban anyone from entering or depositing waste on a site at Aln View, Old Swarland, near Morpeth, Northumberland – while criminal investigations take place into activity there.
It’s the first time the powers, which came into force last year, have been used in the North East.
The Restriction Order was granted at South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court on October 8.
Environment Agency solicitor Chris Bunting told the court that investigations began in February this year, when reports were received about waste being brought onto the site and burned. On March 16, officers visited the site and saw “several piles of waste and evidence of burning”.
Letters requiring the site to stop taking in waste and for it to be cleared were sent, the agency says, but the fires continued, despite follow-up visits and further enforcement notices.
The Environment Agency has now locked the site’s access gate, placing a warning notice at the entrance. Anyone entering the land, or tampering with the lock or notice, will be committing a criminal offence.
John Crowl, Environment Agency enforcement team leader in the North East, said: “We are determined to make life tough for those who damage the environment and blight local communities.
“This is the first time these powers have been used in the North East and demonstrates we will use all of the tools at our disposal to disrupt waste crime.
“The order has been put in place following complaints about waste being illegally dumped and burned, and after extensive work together with our partners at Northumbria Police Rural Crime Team and Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service.
“While most waste sites are operated responsibly, this type of illegal dumping causes huge harm to the environment and distress to communities.”