Stephen Rye was fined £800 and ordered to pay £877.55 in costs, along with a £15 victim surcharge for consenting to the burning by East Midland Developments Limited, totalling £1,677.55. The charges were brought by the Environment Agency under the Environmental Permitting (England & Wales) Regulations 2010.
On 16 September 2011, Nottingham Fire & Rescue Service attended a fire on the Annesley Hall Estate, owned by East Midlands Developments Limited. The fire emitted plumes of smoke that could be seen from the M1 Motorway. The fire crew were concerned about the smoke as it posed a significant risk to traffic travelling on the A608 carriageway. On attendance at the scene, a fire was burning with flames reaching 2-3 feet above the waste pile.
Following investigation by the Environment Agency on 30 September 2011, officers identified an area of scorched ground close to a small lake within the Annesley Hall Estate. Amongst the remains of the bonfire was evidence of tree cuttings, plastic items, paper and fragments of construction materials. Within the grounds, officers also discovered a large amount of construction and demolition waste deposited next to a track.
East Midlands Developments Limited had previously received a warning letter in 2009 from the Environment Agency regarding unauthorised burning at Annesley Hall. At the time of the incident, Annesley Hall did not have an environmental permit or any exemptions that allowed burning of waste on site, or for the importation of construction and demolition waste.
Speaking after the case, an Environment Agency officer in charge of the investigation said:
“Fires have the potential to cause serious pollution incidents or harm human health. In this particular case the defendants’ actions also showed a disregard for the safety of others travelling on nearby roads. This prosecution demonstrates that we take illegal activities such as burning waste in the open air very seriously and will not hesitate to prosecute if necessary, to protect the environment and local communities.”
CHANGE OF USE OF AGRICULTURAL BUILDINGS TO RESIDENTIAL USE IN ENGLAND
The Government has introduced a new Use Class MB with permitted development rights to allow the change of use of agricultural buildings to dwellings in England from 6th April 2014. There is no reference in the legislation to type of building such as traditional buildings or any particular type of construction. It therefore looks las if it allows for the conversion of a Dutch barn, Atcost cubicle house or a Portal Frame barn to residential
The Permitted Development Rights based are as follows:
1. The change of use of existing agricultural buildings and land within their “curtilage” to up to 3 dwellings, together with the building operations reasonably needed for that conversion.
2. for upto 450 metres squared can be converted.
3. one house of 450 metres squared will be permitted.
4. The footprint of the completed development must not go outside the footprint of the original building.
5. The permitted building operations are limited to the installation or replacement of doors, windows, roofs or external walls.
6. Partial demolition is also allowed.
7. Prior Approval will be required for location, siting, design, external appearance, noise, contaminated land, flood risk and highways.
8. The Order limits these permitted development rights by stating that they are NOT allowed where:
“…the site was not used solely for an agricultural use, as part of an established agricultural unit on 20th March 2013.
The new permitted development rights will not apply:
1. to listed buildings.
2. land in National Parks, AONBs, conservation areas, World Heritage Sites and The Broads.
3. on scheduled monuments.
4. on Sites of Special Scientific Interest.