Second landowner prosecuted for not clearing fly-tipping

Published Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Fly-tipping on privately-owned land in Blackbrook Lane Bromley, resulted in prosecution for a second landowner after he failed to remove it.

Leslie Osborn of Danson Mead, Welling, failed to attend Bexley Magistrates' Court to answer charges of failing to comply with Untidy Site Notices, contrary to section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.  Legally, landowners are responsible for their land, which in this case is Mr Osborn.  In his absence from court, Mr Osborn was found guilty on four charges and was fined a total of £4000, a victim surcharge of £100 and the costs of the prosecution in the sum of £5948.90, with 28 days to pay.

Councillor Colin Smith, Leader of Bromley Council and Bickley Ward Councillor said "This is the second prosecution with seemingly more to follow, which the council would far, far prefer not to have to make.

The key message and the situation on the ground remains, that this site remains a totally unacceptable blot on the landscape which needs to be cleared and that enforcement action against those who have thus far failed to comply with their Untidy Site Notice will continue until it is.

The council would far rather see this done the easy way, rather than having to use the courts, but I cannot emphasise strongly enough to those owners still pondering their options, that the council will continue to press for clearance until the matter is fully resolved."

The green belt land adjacent to Bickley Manor Hotel and Bromley High School in Blackbrook Lane, is divided into 35 different plots several of which are owned by Leslie Osborn.  All of the plots are owned by private individuals, each having responsibility for their section(s) of land - including keeping it tidy.  During last summer, the land had been subjected to fly-tipping when travellers illegally occupied the site requiring the landowners to take enforcement action. They were advised that if the dumped waste wasn't cleared, the council would take further action.

Although this involves a lengthy, legal process, the council is persisting as the owners have a responsibility for the upkeep of their land.  A number of plots have been cleared already but action is still ongoing.  Those that have failed to comply have been issued with Untidy Site Notices and are likely to face prosecution.

Residents are reminded that they are responsible for their waste and should not give others the opportunity to fly-tip their unwanted goods or rubbish.  By paying someone else for disposal means that if they fly tip it, owners could still be prosecuted and fined.

The council is working hard to stop those responsible for fly-tipping and damaging the neighbourhood in a number of ways including the use of intelligence information, CCTV surveillance, 'We're Watching You' campaign and 'stop and search' operations.  They can also issue FPNs, prosecute offenders and seize vehicles involved in fly-tipping and from those unable to prove they are legitimate waste carriers.

Residents with information that helps the council prosecute offenders may be eligible to receive up to £500 from the Enviro-crime Reward Scheme.  Anyone who sees an enviro-crime being committed should report it to the police and let the council know the facts.  Useful information might include a description of the offender, vehicle registration, photograph or any other details which could be used as evidence and may enable the council to prosecute.

Residents are also reminded that garden waste can be disposed of as part of the council's garden waste collection service for an annual subscription of £60. Garden waste and other bulky waste is accepted for a fee at the council's reuse and recycling centres and at a charge according to weight for traders.

For legal waste disposal options, businesses and residents are advised to search www.bromley.gov.uk/wastenews

ENDS

Editor's notes:

  • The case was heard at Bexley Magistrates' Court on 11 June 2018.
  • Mr Leslie Osborn was ordered to pay a fine of £4000, plus costs of £5948.90 and a victim surcharge of £100.
  • This follows the first prosecution on 23 May 2018 where landowner Dean Osborn failed to comply with an Untidy Site Notice and was ordered to pay a total of £942.
  • Previous planning applications for housing development on the Blackbrook Lane land have been refused.
  • For media enquiries, please contact Andrew Rogers, Communications Executive, on 020 8461 7670 or email andrew.rogers@bromley.gov.uk