Waste burning leads to fine

Leysdown caravan park director prosecuted for illegal burning of waste

The managing director of a Leysdown caravan park has been prosecuted by Swale Borough Council after being caught burning old caravans rather than disposing of them responsibly.

Ricky Walton, of Grove Avenue, Leysdown, was prosecuted after officers visited the Central Beach Caravan Park in February, following a call from a member of the public who reported caravans were being broken up and burnt on the site.

Upon arrival, the officers discovered a fire and amongst the ashes was the base of a caravan, mattress springs and lengths of MDF. Nearby, the officers identified a second caravan base, which had been partially broken up and looked like it was ready to be burnt as well.

As Mr Walton had previously been given a warning for burning waste in December 2016, the council decided to prosecute.

He pleaded guilty to charges relating to treating, keeping or disposing of controlled waste in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health. Magistrates ordered him to pay a fine of £800, £500 costs, and a victim surcharge of £80.

Cllr Alan Horton, cabinet member for safer families and communities at the council, said:

“Burning commercial waste is a major cause of air pollution, and fumes created can be incredibly harmful.

“For someone to think this is an acceptable way to get rid of waste shows a staggering disregard for the health and wellbeing of those in and around the site.

“All business owners have a legal responsibility to dispose of their waste responsibly – and the overwhelming majority of them do so.

“But this case shows that we won’t hesitate to take action against those who think the law doesn’t apply to them, or that they’ll get away with it.

“We’re grateful to the local residents who called to report this in, which meant our officers could get there in time to witness the offence and gather crucial evidence.”

To report someone illegally disposing of waste, call the council on 01795 417850 or contact them via the online contact form.

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