Illegal scrapyard brought to an end by court appearance

An unofficial scrapyard near the centre of Alnwick is being cleared after legal action that has taken three years to come to court.

The business in Green Batt, a short walk from the tourist routes to Alnwick Castle, is being transferred to a yard at Belford, magistrates have been told. On Tuesday, proprietor Trevor Alexander Hopper, 23, pleaded guilty to failing to comply with an enforcement notice requiring the business to cease at the family home and the site to be cleared.

The March 2011 notice said this must be done by June 14 last year.

The same charge against his father John, 60, of the same address, was withdrawn at Berwick Magistrates’ Court.

Trevor Hopper was fined £2,000 plus £100 costs and £15 surcharge, which he will pay at £50 a week.

Chairman of the bench, Alison Brown, said: “In the absence of certified accounts, tax returns and independent information on the means form, we fine you £2,000.

“But for your guilty plea, it would have been £3,000.”

Neil Masson, prosecuting for the county council, said county enforcement officers had first taken an interest in the site in 2009.

Vehicles were stored behind the house, advertised for sale in the local press and some kept for scrap. Cars were repaired there and tyres changed using a noisy compressor.

John Brown, for Hopper, said: “He doesn’t keep accounts – it’s cash.”

He added they will now move to his site at Belford.