£47,970 in penalties for Scunthorpe waste company and director


Scunthorpe waste crime

Grimsby Crown Court has imposed fines and costs totalling £47,970 in a case against a Scunthorpe-based company and director for operating an illegal waste facility.

SBR Group Developments Limited, of Winterton Road, Scunthorpe, admitted operating a waste facility in contravention of environmental permits. The company was fined £25,640 and ordered to pay costs of £17,000.

At the same hearing, the company director, Matthew Berry, 44, was fined £3,330 and ordered to pay £2,000 costs after he pleaded guilty to the same charge.

The court was told that Berry had purchased the site in Winterton Road in late 2017/18 from Thompsons Waste Management Limited. The company, which had gone into liquidation, had previously been prosecuted for keeping waste in excess of its environmental permit.

To reduce the waste which his company had inherited, Berry contacted the Environment Agency in August 2018 to discuss how to clear the site. However, he was told that he needed an environmental permit or a registered exemption to carry out waste activities on the site.

We welcome this sentence which should act as a deterrent to other companies who breach environmental legislation.

Further site visits were carried out in June and December 2019 when waste was still present. Officers from the Environment Agency also found a heap of fines from a trommel machine which is used to break up waste.

The defendant attended a formal interview in January 2020 when he said that nearly all the waste had been removed to landfill. But at a further visit in June 2021, officers noted that large piles of shredded waste were still on the site and it was only cleared in November 2021.

Officers estimated that the operator had avoided £19,189.50 in permitting charges and the site was assessed to have stored 726.31 tonnes of waste.

Commenting on the case, a spokesperson for the Environment Agency, said: “We welcome this sentence which should act as a deterrent to other companies who breach environmental legislation.

“As a regulator, the Environment Agency will not hesitate to pursue companies that fail to meet its obligations. The conditions of an environmental permit are designed to protect people and the environment.

“Failure to comply with these legal requirements is a serious offence that can damage the environment and undermine legitimate businesses.”

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