Environment Agency
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County Durham man sentenced for illegal waste activity

A man has been sentenced for operating an illegal waste site and burning waste on the land, following an investigation by the Environment Agency.

Lawrence Crossling, 41, of Salters Lane in Shotton Colliery, appeared at Durham Crown Court on Wednesday 8 May for sentencing after previously pleading guilty to operating an illegal waste site and burning waste.

He was fined £800 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £80. He was also fined £50 for breaching a suspected prison sentence from a previous unrelated offence. He was given one year to pay the £850 fine or risk 28 days in prison.

The court heard that in May 2022 officers from Durham County Council saw a fire burning at a compound at Salters Lane - including plastics, furniture, wood, metal and a boxing bag, with evidence of previous fires.

In January 2023 officers from the Environment Agency, council and Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service jointly attended the site.

The ground was covered in waste, most of which had been reduced to ash. There was a fire burning, and piles of waste included demolition and construction waste, and metal waste such as a fridge freezer, washing machines, a shopping trolley and bathtub.

In May 2023 Environment Agency officers issued letters that included instructions to clear the site of all waste by 9 June 2023, and a request to attend for an interview.

On 14 June, the officers met Crossling at the compound, where he was told he could not carry out waste activities on the land. The site was still covered in waste.

Crossling was interviewed the following month and admitted having hardcore material delivered to address flooding issues. He said he and his sons collected scrap and this was deposited and burned on the land. He also said he allowed others to deposit scrap at the compound. He had no paperwork for any of the transactions.

Land was ‘carpeted with waste’

Gary Wallace, Area Environment Manager for the Environment Agency in the North East, said:

Our officers witnessed Crossling’s land carpeted with waste with evidence of multiple fires, showing a complete disregard for the law.

Waste crime has a terrible impact on the community and environment as well as undermining legitimate businesses.

We worked hard with our partners to ensure Crossling was brought before the court for his actions and hopefully this prosecution sends out a message to others that we will not tolerate waste crime in our communities.

People can report illegal waste crime to the Environment Agency on it’s 24-hour hotline on 0800 807060.

Channel website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency

Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/county-durham-man-sentenced-for-illegal-waste-activity

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