A farmer has been ordered to pay nearly £3,000 after admitting to fly-tipping 40 tonnes of waste in Mid Suffolk last year.
William Johnston, a partner in Sunnyside Farms of Walsham-le-Willows, pleaded guilty to dumping the industrial waste on the B1113 between Finningham and Walsham.
The hearing, held at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ today, saw the 44-year-old ordered to pay a fine of £1,000, the district council’s full investigation costs of £1,660 and a victim surcharge of £100.
The offence occurred on April 9 last year when, after finding a large amount of waste had been fly-tipped on his land, Mr Johnston decided to move it using tractors and trailers and dump it on the public highway.
The material consisted of several farm trailers’ worth of commercial waste, including carpet, underlay and packaging, some of which appeared to have been previously baled. A witness saw tractors and trailers leaving the scene, and the incident was linked to the Sunnyside Farms Partnership, based at Cranmer Farm.
In August Mr Johnston was interviewed under caution by council officers and admitted to having dumped the waste on the public highway after it had been tipped on his land the previous evening. Mr Johnston stated that he was fully aware of the correct procedure for disposing of waste, but had panicked because of the quantity and the likely significant cost of having to clear it properly.
Mr Johnston has now reimbursed Mid Suffolk for the cost of clearing the site which amounted to £4,000.
Magistrates said they had taken into account his good character and the fact he had repaid the clear-up costs, but said they viewed the dumping as a very dangerous action which could have led to a serious road accident during the hours of darkness.