Builder fined for flaunting waste law

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A BUILDER was caught on camera deliberately burning waste after ignoring warnings he was breaking the law.

Barnetby le Wold builder Harry Rowbottom, 57, pleaded guilty two offences of illegally burning waste on his own land at the Old Maltings off Kings Road, Scunthorpe Magistrates’ Court heard.

The court heard how Environment Agency officers received reports about Rowbottom’s illegal fires and visited the site in October 2009 where they found materials including bricks and rubble from the demolished Old Maltings and evidence of burning.

Officers wrote to Rowbottom telling him it was an offence to burn waste without a permit and asking him to clear the site. But Rowbottom ignored the warning and in July 2010 was filmed burning waste on two separate days.

The court heard how throughout the site there were piles of materials, including perished tyres, empty gas bottles, oil containers, paint containers, old electrical items including a television, ovens, washing machines, fridges, electrical wire, an old boiler, old sinks and baths. And an old caravan containing old radiators, metal, plastic, doors, windows, wood and rubble.

Self-employed builder Rowbottom told Environment Agency investigators he only burned junk mail a couple of times a year and occasionally other things at the same time. He said he had demolished the Old Maltings and planned to build houses there.

Sentencing, District Judge Curtis said the offences were serious and needed to be dealt with in a manner which would deter others.

He said Rowbottom’s actions were deliberate as the Environment Agency had informed him what he was doing was illegal - but he ignored the advice.

After the hearing Environment Agency officer Ray Taylor said: “This case sends a clear message that all waste should be handled properly and recycled or disposed of in an appropriate manner and that illegal burning of waste as a cheap disposal option is not acceptable”.

Defending Rowbottom Mr Thompson told the court that the defendant had now cleared the site and is aware he should not have burned the waste.

Rowbottom was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay a contribution to Environment Agency costs of £2,500.