Waste company loses permit appeal

16th May 2014

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  • Pollution & Waste Management ,
  • Air ,
  • Environment agencies ,
  • Management


Richard Clarke

Recycling firm Think Environmental has lost its bid to prevent its permit being revoked after ignoring a "raft of enforcement measures"

The Northamptonshire firm’s waste management centre at Blackbridge Farm in Burton Latimer was the subject of multiple warnings from the Environment Agency as well as an enforcement notice from the local authority, but the company took no action to remove excess waste and bring the site into compliance with its permit, concluded planning inspector Isobel McCretton.

Following a hearing at the end of last year, McCretton today (16 May) upheld the agency’s decision in May 2013 to revoke the site’s environmental permit, saying that there was a “pattern of offending with serious impact on health and the environment”.

In October 2012, Think Environmental was fined £30,000 after pleading guilty to failing to stop smells from the site between April 2010 and July 2011, and a further £3,000 for failing to remove illegally buried waste.

The agency issued 10 formal warnings to the company that it had to deal with odours from its site, after receiving 345 complains in a two-year period from September 2009. However, the firm’s director did not accept there was an issue and the odour-control plans submitted by the firm were deemed inadequate by the agency.

In October 2011, two fires at the site caused significant air pollution, resulting in the closure of the A6 and the death of fish in a nearby brook.

In upholding the revocation of the site’s environmental permit, McCretton commented: “Given the sustained non-compliance and offending at the site, and failure to comply with a raft of enforcement measures, I consider that the environmental permit should be revoked.

“Advice, warnings, other enforcement action, voluntary agreements and post-conviction plans all failed to secure removal of the excess waste from the site and compliance with the permit conditions.

“There were ongoing environmental problems at the site and the agency considered that the appellant was likely to re-offend.”

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