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July 15th, 2014 |

Michelins Farm Jail Sentence

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From the District Council website:


Date:
Friday, 11 July 2014

Land owner Roger Frederick Phipps, aged 72, has today (Fri 11 Jul) been sent to prison for six months.

Chelmsford Crown Court activated part of a suspended sentence given in January last year for a waste offence after he was convicted of breaching advertisement regulations; alongside his continued breaches of planning and environmental laws.
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Phipps was sentenced in 2013 to eight months imprisonment and ordered to carry out 180 hours unpaid work for allowing an illegal waste site to be run on his farm for years. He was also fined £15,000 for breaching three planning enforcement notices and the Environment Agency and Council were jointly awarded £20,000 in costs.

The prison sentence was suspended for two years.

Since then, the court heard, he has carried out the unpaid work but has yet to pay the court costs and fines. He has failed to remove the majority of the waste from the farm by 30 June 2014, and has continued to display advertisements without consent on his land.

Michelins Farm, Rayleigh, did not have a waste permit nor planning permission to operate the site for waste purposes and it was run without an environmental permit from April 2008-11. The farm is on green belt land and is within a Landscape Improvement Area.
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Site visits undertaken by the Council and the Environment Agency had observed plastics, tyres, building materials, cylinders, and plastic piping and these were seen in 35 fires that the fire service had to attend in 2010-2011.

Environment Agency officers carried out covert surveillance in May 2010 and saw lorries taking waste into the site and at the same time saw smoke regularly coming from the farm. Aerial photos taken by Council officers also demonstrated to the Court the full scale of the damage being caused by Mr Phipps.

Judge David Turner said Phipps had been given by the Court, the Environment Agency and the Council every opportunity to comply with the law and had not done so.
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The Leader of Rochford District Council, Councillor Terry Cutmore said: “It is clear that Mr Phipps’ breach of the advertisement regulations was yet another example of his fragrant and deliberate disregard for the law. Mr Phipps has continued to breach planning regulations despite previously receiving a suspended sentence for similar offences, and it is right that the Court has taken this into account in giving Mr Phipps a 6 month prison sentence. Whilst the council sees legal action as a last resort it will not stand for any inappropriate actions from people who choose to ignore planning laws”.

“It is clear that Mr Phipps’ breach of the advertisement regulations was yet another example of his fragrant and deliberate disregard for the law. Mr Phipps has continued to breach planning regulations despite previously receiving a suspended sentence for similar offences, and it is right that the Court has taken this into account in giving Mr Phipps a 6 month prison sentence. Whilst the council sees legal action as a last resort it will not stand for any inappropriate actions from people who choose to ignore planning laws”.

One Response to “Michelins Farm Jail Sentence”

  1. 1
    A.Matthews:

    Why has it taken so long?We have pressed for action for almost as many years as I can remember.The area is strewn with all sorts of debris including hazardous waste as tyres are classified as such .I suggested at an early stage of the core strategy that council should compulsory purchase the site at the greenfield value ,ie,about £10000 per acre .Surely with the proceeds of crime Act Council should confiscate the land to pay for the huge clean up that is necessary to allow it to be used for whatever proposals will be agreed under the long term plans .My vision was for a rail served state of the art distribution centre not necessarily a traveller site and “dirty industries” .

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