£5,600 costs and suspended sentence for Cambridgeshire man who ran illegal waste site at Waterbeach

09th August 2018

A skip hire operator who ran an illegally licensed site at Waterbeach has been handed a suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay £5,600 in costs.

Magistrates were told that mixed commercial and construction/demolition waste was illegally stored at a site in the village despite advice given by Environment Agency officers.

Cambridge magistrates’ were told that the site in Long Drove began as a skip hire site but soon became an unpermitted waste transfer station.

Stop notices were twice placed on the business but Daniel Lee Crockwell, 35, of Milton Road, Cambridge, carried on operating.

“He ignored advice and guidance given to him on numerous visits by agency officers,’” Gurjit Bdesha, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, told the court.

Crockwell had no previous waste experience but tried to compete with established businesses in the area.

He was sentenced to four months in prison suspended for two years and ordered to pay £5,592 costs.

In November officers tracked down Crockwell who reluctantly agreed to meet them at the site, Mr Bdesha told magistrates.

“He told them he needed a few weeks to clear the site and would meet with them again”, said Mr Bdesha’.

Crockwell agreed to clear the site by February 16, 2017 but failed to do so and eventually the landowners took control of the site and cleared it themselves.

Mr Bdesha said Crockwell had taken a risk in running the business illegally and had only ever held a waste carriers licence during the year of operating at Long Drove.

He had eventually stopped taking in extra waste in November 2017 and closed down his website and disconnected the phones at the same time.

Mr Bdesha said that before a waste transfer station could be operated at the site there would have had to have been improvements to the infrastructure to protect the environment. Planning and health and safety requirements would also have been needed.

After the hearing, Environment Agency enforcement team leader Phil Henderson said: ‘Whilst the Environment Agency seeks to work with operators who co-operate and want to comply with the law, we will take action against those who don’t. Always make sure you are operating legally before embarking on a waste management activity or you are likely to get a visit from our enforcement officers.’

Crockwell pleaded guilty to:

Between 31st December 2015 and 31st December 2016 on land known as Half Acre Site, Long Drove, Waterbeach, CB25 9LR, you operated a regulated facility, namely a waste operation for the deposit, storage and treatment of waste without being authorised by an environmental permit granted under Regulation 13 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.

Contrary to Regulation 12 and 38(1) (a) Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010