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Man ordered to pay £212,000 for dumping waste at Baston Fen without permit

Court

Court

A man who illegally dumped waste has been ordered to pay a total of £212,000 after being convicted of two offences.

Andrew Manton Pannell Freeman appeared at Lincoln Crown Court, where he was convicted for two offences involving the deposit, treatment, storing and disposal of waste at Baston Fen without the appropriate permits. He had pleaded guilty to the offences at an earlier hearing.

Freeman was ordered by the court to hand over £125,000 from the proceeds of his activities and fined £12,500 for each of the offences.

He was also ordered to pay £75,000 costs to the Environment Agency and ordered to carry out 80 hours unpaid work in the community.

The court heard that Freeman, 24, of Baston Fen, took waste ash, concrete, bricks and soils onto site to make aggregates and to landscape gravel pits between January 2009 and April 2010.

He also received hundreds of thousands of litres of waste cooking oil and chemicals to make biodiesel.

Freeman admitted burning domestic and fly-tipped waste and acknowledged that others had burned skip waste on site.

He needed a permit for the type of work he was doing.

Mark Harris, representing the Environment Agency, said officers regularly visited the site and wrote advice letters to try to get Freeman to comply with the regulations.

The court heard that 20,000 tonnes of power station ash was tipped into lagoons before being buried with thousands of tonnes of waste soils.

Thousands of tonnes of concrete, bricks and soils were also brought onto site to make a caravan park and tracks, but more waste was brought than necessary.

Freeman bought hundreds of thousands of litres of waste oil and chemicals to make biodiesel, which were stored in an unsafe way.

On each visit between January 2009 and March 2011, officers from the Environment Agency saw hundreds of drums and containers containing the chemicals and waste materials from the process.

The drums were strewn about the site and the liquids had leaked onto the surrounding land creating a significant risk of pollution.

Following a complaint from a resident, two large areas were found on site containing burnt remains of waste items. The burning sites were cleared at the Environment Agency’s request but Freeman failed to confirm where the waste had gone.

Mr Harris said significant time and effort was spent trying to get Freeman to comply with the regulations but he was “distinctly unhelpful”.

David Travers, representing Freeman, said it had been a long-standing family ambition to create a leisure facility. Areas of the site were now going to be developed. The surrounding areas were habitats for rare plants. He said Freeman employed 50 people.

In sentencing, Judge Sean Morris said that Freeman had treated the land as a private waste disposal site.

He said Freeman behaved “arrogantly” to the Environment Agency and “thought he was above the rules”.

Judge Morris said the fine was lower than it might have been to protect his employees and because Freeman was also being ordered to carry out unpaid work.

 

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