Newcastle firm which illegally deposited waste in Longframlington agrees to £10,000 pay-out

A haulier which illegally deposited waste soils and clays in Longframlington has agreed to pay out nearly £10,000 to a wildlife charity.

Tuesday, 19th July 2022, 10:24 am

Newcastle-based Thorburn Bros Ltd, a supplier and haulier of quarried and recycled aggregates, will pay £9,872 to Northumberland Wildlife Trust for environmental improvements at its West Chevington reserve.

The company, of Benton Square Industrial Estate, submitted an enforcement undertaking to the Environment Agency after it failed to meet its environmental obligations by avoiding the costs of applying for an environmental permit, which it would have needed in order to carry out the tipping lawfully.

An enforcement undertaking is a voluntary offer made by companies and individuals to make amends for their offending.

Thorburn Bros Limited dumped waste soils and clays at an old Longframlington quarry.

The Environment Agency was made aware of large quantities of waste soils being taken from building sites to an old quarry on farmland in Longframlington in June 2018.

The site was visited, and a continuous stream of wagons marked with Thorburn Bros Ltd’s livery were seen depositing soil and clays, which were being levelled by a bulldozer.

Following a visit to Thorburn Bros Ltd’s offices, the company produced evidence to show that they had deposited some 9,380 tonnes of waste soils at the quarry. The quarry was not covered by any environmental permit

An environmental permit, in this case, would have set out the operating conditions that Thorburn Bros would be legally bound to observe in order to minimise the risk of harm to people and the environment.

Area environment manager, Andrew Turner, said: “Illegally disposing of waste at a site that does not include the necessary infrastructure for managing and controlling pollution presents a real risk of harm to people and the environment.

“In some circumstances, enforcement undertakings can achieve a good resolution of our enforcement action, allowing the offender to put things right and help to improve our environment.

"This payment of £9,872 will do just that by supporting environmental improvements at Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s site at West Chevington, a former open-cast coal mine.

“The offer from Thorburn Bros Limited detailed improvements to its administrative systems and training for its staff. This will help to avoid the risk of environmental offending.”