A businessman who ran a waste disposal site in Yorkshire that caught fire and burned for a month, costing the fire service and tax payers thousands of pounds has been jailed.

Roy Hinchcliffe was jailed for two years after being repeatedly warned that he was exceeding the limit of waste he was permitted to store at the site but he failed to reduce the amount of waste to the 700 tonnes he was allowed to store.  Only days after a suspension notice had been issued a fire broke out on the 7th February 2010 and burned until 8th March 2010, polluting the neighbourhood and costing the fire service £800,000 and valuable time.

Three fire-fighters and an aerial appliance were typically in use at the fire every day. Deputy CFO Steve Buckley, of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said at the time “Hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of lifesaving equipment may be tied up for weeks but we will be there supporting the local community for as long as it takes.”

A further £400,000 was spent on management and contractors having to move some of the waste, Diana Maudsley, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, told the court.

Mr Hinchcliffe admitted exceeding the storage limit at the site and was jailed for two years. He also admitted storing additional waste at two other sites without a permit and to failing to comply with a notice to reduce waste. Roy Hinchcliffe’s son Neil was also jailed for 16 months in connection with the waste that was stored at the additional sites.

Judge James Spencer QC said at sentencing, “The waste that you allowed to be stored was unsightly, it was dangerous, it was unfenced and capable of escaping with no element at all of control.

Fire was a clear hazard and he added: “Fire of course is what happened at Scout Hill, a fire that was burning for over a month, which cost thousands to control and deal with, made worse because of the scale of overtipping within that site.”


Sources: info4fire.com

And yorkshirepost.co.uk

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