Incidents of fly tipping and breaching a planning enforcement notice lead to two court cases against a Loughton resident and his wife in the space of 3 days, leading to 200 hours of unpaid work and financial penalties of over £2500 at Chelmsford and Colchester Magistrates courts.
Members may recall that in December 2019, the Council’s Environmental Enforcement Team prosecuted Mr Salinder Minhas of 3 Alderton Close, Loughton Essex for the offence of depositing controlled waste at the junction of Alderton Close and Alderton Hall Lane Loughton without having a waste management permit (fly tipping) and failing to take all such measures as were reasonable to ensure that the waste was transferred to an authorised person. Mr Minhas also failed to attend for a meeting with the Council as required by the Environment Act 1995
The trial took place at Southend Magistrates Court in Mr Minhas’ absence, and he was found guilty, subject fines and costs totalling £6,824.32. Mr Minhas had previously failed to pay a Fixed Penalty Notice offered to him of £200
As it was later found that Mr Minhas had been in hospital on the day of the trial, a retrial was fixed and eventually heard on 12th March 2021. Having heard the evidence from one of the Council witnesses, Mr Minhas changed his plea to guilty.
On this occasion he was given a Community Order with 200 hours of unpaid work to be completed within 12 months. He was ordered to pay £600 towards the Council’s prosecution costs together with a Victim Surcharge of £85. (Total £685). The previous sanctions were cancelled.
The Magistrates’ commented that Mr Minhas had three opportunities to try to resolve matters, outside of the courtroom, and he had ignored them. They stated “We understand there were neighbourhood issues and that you are sorry but you did not plead guilty at the earliest opportunity to these matters and caused a great many people to spend time trying to enforce matters. Laws are there to ensure waste is deposited safely to protect the public and to ensure the environment was not harmed. We hope you now understand the consequences of your actions”.
This action was in addition to that taken by the Council’s Planning Enforcement Team on 9 March 202, where following not guilty pleas having previously been entered, Mr Minhas and his wife Mrs Parminder Minhas changed their pleas to guilty for failing to comply with a Planning Enforcement Notice served on them by Epping Forest District Council. This notice required them to remove a roller shutter which was in excess of 2 metres in height that had been installed by them between 2 garages at the front of their property
Having taken into account their late guilty plea, mitigation, personal circumstances and the fact that the roller shutter has now been removed, Mr Minhas was fined £145, with a contribution to the Council’s Prosecution Costs of £750 and a victim surcharge of £32 (total £927). Mrs Minhas was fined £124 with a contribution to the Council’s Prosecution Costs of £750 and a victim surcharge of £32 (total £906)
(Further information: Flytipping: Michael Richardson ext 4422 - Planning Enforcement: Jerry Godden ext 4498)