The Chronicle

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.”

 ??  ?? An illegal tip was closed down in Old Swarland, Northumber­land
An illegal tip was closed down in Old Swarland, Northumber­land

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