A LANDOWNER in Cwmbran has been fined and received a suspended sentence for illegal waste practices.

Nicholas Criddle used the land at Castle Farm, Henllys, for agricultural purposes and had worked it with his father for several years.

Natural Resources Wales received reports in January 2018 that waste was being dumped and burned at the site.

Although the land did not have an environmental permit, it did have an exemption which allowed the burning of plant tissue and untreated wood waste from joinery or manufacturing in the open air.

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Buried waste at Castle Farm, Henllys. Picture: Natural Resources Wales.

During an inspection, melted black bin liners and construction and demolition waste was found on the floor.

The waste included stone, concrete and plaster, together with plastics, treated wood and burned scorched earth, none of which are covered by the exemption.

On a second visit to the site in February 2018, inspectors found that earth had been moved to cover up the burned materials, and stockpiles of waste, including duvets, plastic bags, ceramic toilet parts and sinks, were found elsewhere on the land.

In April 2018, livestock remains were being burnt and animals were found emaciated and in significant distress.

The largest pile of waste found was deposited in a spring, leading to a stream below.

Inspectors were unable to collect samples as there was evidence of hydrogen sulphide escaping from the buried waste.

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Dumped waste at Castle Farm, Henllys. Picture: Natural Resources Wales.

A Section 59 Environmental Protection Act 1990 notice was served on April 19 to remove the waste from the site with a compliance date of the June 6, 2018, which was not complied with.

Further site visits on April 30 and June 7 showed evidence of burying waste materials at the site.

Criddle pled guilty to charges of failure to comply with the requirements of a notice served on he April 19, 2018 to remove waste from his land; submitting controlled waste or knowingly permitting controlled waste to be submitted to any listed operation namely by incineration otherwise than in accordance with an environmental permit contrary to section 33(1)(b) and (6) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990; and failure to comply with the requirements of a notice served on the April 19 2018 to remove waste from land contrary to s59(1) & (5) Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Criddle was sentenced on February 12 at Newport Magistrates Court and received a 17-week custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months, ordered to pay full prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £150.00.

He also had to pay costs of £3,528.