A Rickmansworth-based haulage company has been ordered to pay nearly £50,000 for flagrantly flouting a legal notice from a London council ordering them to stop using their site to sort rubbish.
At a hearing on April 11, the firm was made to pay a fine of £34,000 after admitting a charge of breaching an enforcement notice. They’ve also be ordered to pay £15,729 in prosecution costs and a £181 victim surcharge.
The yard, which is located in Hillingdon but only accessible to Rickmansworth residents, first ran into trouble when in the spring of 2019 it began unauthorised waste sorting work at the site, causing major dust and noise pollution for nearby residents.
Following two visits from workers at Hillingdon Borough Council (HBC), a planning enforcement order was put in place in August, requiring that the new work to finish immediately.
However, two further inspections in June 2020 and January 2021 found that not only had the notice been ignored, but a larger waste sorting machine had been brought on site.
At the hearing, the court heard how profit from the work was likely to be in the bracket of £30k to £40k, which was then used by District Judge Ikram to impose the correct fine, though he did give a 15 per cent discount for the companies guilty plea.
Sentencing, he said: “I find high culpability: this was a deliberate breach, the Company had been forewarned, they carried on, and a large piece of plant arrived at the end of the period. It carried on for 15 months, and for profit.”
A spokesperson for the Springhill Residents and Conservation Association, who say they were negatively affected by the work on the site, said: “Local residents have endured the noise, dust and traffic right up to the date of the prosecution but can finally enjoy their homes and gardens once more now that the machines have gone and the yard fallen quiet again.”
Photo Credit: Hillingdon Borough Council