Sunday, 19 January 2020

Wood chipping firm fined £15,000 for breaching storage regulations

Firm fined £15,000 for breaching regulations

A COMPANY in Pyrton that recycled wood has been fined £15,000 after investigators found it was storing nearly four times as much waste allowed by law.

Red Jon Ltd held an estimated 1,790 tonnes of wood at the site, off Shirburn Road, whereas no more than 500 tonnes can be kept in one place in any seven-day period.

Costs of £28,000 will be split equally between the company and its director Patrick Cassidy, who was banned indefinitely from holding similar roles. 

Cassidy, 68, of Sneyd Hall Road, Bloxwich, West Midlands, was also fined £860 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £86 by district judge Kamlesh Rana at Oxford Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Wednesday).

The court heard the mountains of wood posed a significant fire-risk to the area, which included two schools, residential property and a park, with Judge Rana calling the amount of wood stored at the site “blatantly criminal”.

Julia Leigh, senior environmental crime officer for the Environment Agency in Oxfordshire, said: “I visited the site on numerous occasions, explaining which activities were and weren’t allowed, but Red Jon were not able to make sufficient changes to comply with the law and reduce the risk to the environment and the local community.

“Waste crime can undermine legitimate businesses. The Environment Agency works closely with businesses to help them comply with the law.

“In cases like this, where individuals consistently operate illegally, we have no hesitation in prosecuting them, as we want to make sure waste crime doesn’t pay.”

Red Jon no longer owns the site.

 

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