Father and Son Convicted for Failing to Dispose of Waste Legally

Father and son, David and Nicholas Channer have been convicted after an EA investigation into waste being stored and set alight at their farm at Mop End, near Amersham.

Environmental crime officers had sent numerous letters and visited the farm on many occasions between 2017 and 2019, but despite their efforts the pair continued to store and burn various types of waste such as wood, green waste, plastic, chipboard, and metal. They burned the waste as it was cheaper than disposing of the waste legally, which left mounds of smouldering ash. They even admitted to incinerating rubbish which had been fly-tipped.

Trading as J Channer & Sons, David Channer supplied farming services across southern England. The Court heard how Nicholas had an active role in the company. Nicholas Channer ran Chiltern Tree Care, also based at the farm. This business generated a lot of waste which should have been disposed of legally.

When the Environment Agency asked the pair why they had continued to operate in this manner, despite the many letters the EA sent to them, they stated they had not seen the letters, or were not aware the exemptions from permits to manage waste had expired.

On one occasion EA officers visited Mop End farm to discover open land being used to store various types of waste such as white goods, soil, bricks, wood, which they would burn later. Nicholas Channer admitted to storing 100 tons of scrap metal he either received from online customers or finding it as he drove around. EA officers also identified fires at the farm in June 2017, measuring between 10 and 16 metres long and several metres wide.

Although the parts of the farm in which the fires took place had partly been cleared, David Channer has until December 2021 to remove any ash that remains on the land.

David Channer and Nicholas Channer both plead guilty to 8 counts under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The offences were that between or before January 2017 to June 2019, they allowed waste to be stored and burned. They were also prosecuted for not properly documenting movements of waste between sites.

Aylesbury Crown Court sentenced Nicholas to 13 months in prison, which includes 5 months for breaching an unrelated suspended sentence. His father, David, received a 6-month prison sentence, suspended for 2 years.

In addition to this, David Channer was ordered by Wycombe Magistrate’s Court to pay the EA’s costs of £14,925 and a victim surcharge of £115. In a different hearing at Aylesbury Crown Court, Nicholas Channer was fined £40,000 (in addition to his prison sentence), and ordered to pay costs of £15,122.45, and a victim surcharge of £140.