Bolton company who put community at risk from rats and fire are prosecuted by the Environment Agency

17 Dec 2021 12:20 PM

The Environment Agency has successfully prosecuted the directors of SC Chadwicks and Sons Ltd for permit breaches at two waste sites.

The Environment Agency has successfully prosecuted a father and two sons for breaching Environmental Permit conditions at two waste sites in Leigh and Bolton. The prosecution at Bolton Crown Court saw company Director Sean Chadwick of Manchester Rd, Leigh, and Company Secretary Michael Chadwick of Kenwood Ave, Leigh were sentenced to were each given a 10 month sentence suspended for 18 months as well as two 14 week sentences each suspended for 18 months. Gary Chadwick, of Culcheth Hall Drive, Warrington, also a Director of SC Chadwick and Sons, was given two 14 week sentences suspended for 18 months.

Both Shaun and Michael Chadwick pleaded guilty to three charges – one charge for the permit breaches over time at the Bolton site and an identical one for the Leigh site and failure to comply with a Reg 36 enforcement notice at the Leigh site. Gary Chadwick pleaded guilty to the charges related to the Leigh site.

The Environment Agency brought the case after an extensive investigation. Throughout the investigation the sites remained non-compliant with its permit, much of the time significantly so which resulted in the sites being at high risk of pollution.

The Bolton site was investigated over a period from 28 June 2014 to 27 February 2016 (Chadwick’s ceased trading in 2016) as it was not operated to minimise risk of pollution. The site also exceeded maximum waste height limits, Officer’s reported, following an investigation, that waste had increased in height to 5m. The sheer volume of waste on site was preventing it being processed efficiently and preventing vehicles moving around safely.

Other pollution risks were fire and odour there were a total of 172 odour reports from 2014 to when the site closed. Eight fires were reported between 2006-2013 and on inspection with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service it was clear fire risks were not managed in accordance with their Fire prevention plans.

The fundamental problem with both sites, which resulted in the prosecution, was they consistently brought more waste on than was removed, apparently for financial reasons.

Environment Agency Officers made numerous visits to the sites offering advice and guidance. The Bolton site is now cleared after SC Chadwicks and Sons Ltd abandoned it leaving Bolton Council to clear at an estimated cost of £3million.

Mark Easedale, an Area Environment Manager for the Environment Agency, said:

“The Environment Agency is committed to taking robust enforcement action against those who break the law, to protect communities and the environment.

“In this case the defendants consistently failed to respond to advice and guidance, warnings and statutory notices requiring action to improve operations at both of their sites.

“The Environment Agency permit waste sites to ensure they operate legally and with minimal impact on the environment. Sites that operate outside the terms of their permit undercut legitimate businesses and, in this case, caused harm to the environment through waste fires and misery for residents and businesses. They also cost taxpayers money as Bolton Council had to clear the site at considerable expense. We are determined to make life hard for criminals and support legitimate business by disrupting and stopping the criminal element.”