South Scotland

Kirkpatrick Fleming illegal waste storage admitted

Dumfries Sheriff Court
Image caption Ratcliffe admitted the offences at Dumfries Sheriff Court

A Carlisle man has admitted breaking environmental laws at the site of his business in Dumfries and Galloway.

Ashley Ratcliffe, 41, committed the offences at AJR Commercials in Kirkpatrick Fleming.

He admitted failing to remove controlled waste from the site and keeping waste without the appropriate licence between 2009 and 2011.

Sentence for the offences was deferred at Dumfries Sheriff Court until 16 April.

The prosecution followed an operation by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) aimed at bringing unlicensed "end-of-life" vehicle (ELV) businesses into compliance with environmental legislation.

Ratcliffe stored waste motor vehicles and parts, tyres, engines, carpets, metal, plastic, oil drums and gas bottles on his land.

'Ignored advice'

Kate Fleming, specialist wildlife and environmental prosecutor for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), said: "There is a legitimate public concern about the impact of offences like this on the environment.

"Waste vehicles contain various fluids including oil, washer fluid, batteries and their fluid, coolant, power steering and brake fluid, all of which can contaminate the environment.

"The purpose of environmental regulations is to ensure that polluting components are disposed of properly."

She said Ratcliffe had "repeatedly ignored" advice and offers of assistance from Sepa.

"He was given ample time to bring his property into compliance with environmental laws but chose not to," she added.

"COPFS takes a robust approach to any individual or company which chooses to ignore the laws which are in place to protect Scotland's environment."

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