It follows the conviction of a ‘man with a van’ who dumped waste from a closed village post office in the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Andrew Austwick, aged 41, of Lyngford Square, Taunton, admitted the flytipping flytipping when he appeared before Taunton Deane Magistrates.
Austwick dumped an assortment of rubbish, including a glass-fronted display fridge, a cash register, and other items at 20 Acre Plantation, near Cothelstone, on August 1 last year.
The Quantock Hills AONB Service alerted Taunton Deane Borough Council to the incident and environmental protection officer Paul Stevens carried out extensive and complex inquiries to identify the culprit.
The trail eventually led Mr Stevens to an address in Taunton which was Austwick’s home.
Austwick was prosecuted by the council and the magistrates ordered him to complete 70 hours of unpaid work for the benefit of the community and to pay prosecution and clear-up costs totalling £500.
The magistrates told Austwick: “Your actions were quite intentional. You were out to make a quick buck. You hit the jackpot in terms of damaging the environment.
“The whole enterprise was motivated by financial gain and you were operating without a licence. Do not do it again.”
Maria Casey, prosecuting on behalf of the council, told the court the waste had been cleared away by the council’s direct labour team at a cost of £280, and prosecution costs were incurred.
Austwick told the magistrates: “It was my own fault. I should have gone by the rules and I did not. I am sorry.”
After the case, the council’s environmental services portfolio holder, Councillor Mel Mullins, said: “It is satisfying to note that the courts have recognised the seriousness of this offence by awarding a very substantial penalty.
“We live in a beautiful part of the country and we want to keep it that way.
“Let anybody who may be thinking of flytipping be in no doubt of the council’s determination to gather evidence and prosecute cases of this environmental crime.”
- Our photograph shows some of the rubbish which Austwick flytipped on the Quantocks. Photo submitted.