Builder appears in court after burning harmful waste in his garden

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A Grimsby area builder received a suspended prison sentence and was ordered to pay out £1,000 in compensation and costs for burning waste at his home.

George Johnson, owner of GJS Home Improvements was found of guilty of two environmental breaches at court in Lincolnshire.

Neighbours complained when he was burning materials in the garden in Grainthorpe.

Read more court news here

The case was taken up by environmental health officers at East Lindsey District Council who prosecuted under Sections 33 and 34 of the Environmental Protection Act, 1990.

Lincoln Magistrates’ Court heard the offences included failure to provide Waste Transfer Notes. These show where commercial waste is legally being disposed of and must be kept for at least two years and be produced on request, via a legal notice.

The second offence involved the disposal of controlled waste through burning it in a manner which is likely to cause pollution or harm to human health.



Environmental health officers from ELDC Tedder Hall, Manby visited Grainthorpe
Environmental health officers from ELDC Tedder Hall, Manby visited Grainthorpe

Investigations into the offences began in July 2019, after allegations were raised that commercial waste from Mr Johnson’s business was being burnt in his garden at 5 Carters Garth, Chapel Lane, Grainthorpe and causing problems to surrounding properties.

After numerous postponements due to Covid and Mr Johnson failing to attend court on a previous occasion, leading to the warrant for this arrest, the full trial was held last week.

The magistrates found Mr Johnson guilty on both charges. He was given a 26-week custodial sentence which has been suspended for two years.

The neighbour who was affected by the anti-social behaviour has been given £500 in compensation and East Lindsey District Council have been awarded £500 towards the legal costs. Significantly, a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) was also granted at the council’s request following the successful prosecution.

The CBO lasts for two years and states that Mr Johnson must clear the land of any waste within a specified timeframe. He must not burn anything and he cannot store any waste in the garden unless it is properly stored in the normal bins provided by East Lindsey District Council.

Any breach of this Order is an arrestable offence and would mean that the Council could go back to court and Mr Johnson could go to prison.

Councillor Martin Foster, portfolio holder for Operational Services said, “The George Johnson case has been a triumph for the Environmental Crime Team at East Lindsey District Council, which hopes to deter future offences by all of those thinking of disposing of waste illegally in East Lindsey.

“We hope it sends the clear message to residents that action has been taken and offences of such manner will have consequences to the individuals who wish to break the law. We hope this trial demonstrates the commitment the Environmental Crime Team have to preventing offences and I would like to congratulate them on this outcome.”

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