Environment Agency Closes Illegal Waste Site

This case highlights the importance of being receptive to Environment Agency demands. In this case, the failure to act according to Environment Agency requests was followed by an enforcement notice being issued, then a court order being obtained to close an illegal waste site.

The Investigation

In February 2020, the EA began receiving complaints of waste being accepted and burned at Aln View, Old Swarland, Northumberland. On 16th March, EA officers visited the site and identified several piles of waste and evidence of burning.

The EA issued letters requesting the site to stop taking in waste and to clear the site, but this request was ignored. A few more visits took place before an enforcement notice ordering the site to be cleared in July was issued, which has now passed.

The EA is working with Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service and Northumbria Police as they continue to investigate the criminal activities at the site.

The Court Order

​There is now a court order prohibiting anyone entering or depositing waste on the site, to limit the impact on the local area of the alleged criminal activities while investigations take place. The Restriction Order was acquired from Bedlington Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 8th October. The EA subsequently locked the gates at the site and placed a warning notice at the entrance. If anyone enters the land or interferes with the lock or notice, they will be committing a criminal offence.