Skip hire company GR Shorthouse has pleaded guilty at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court to operating a waste facility without a permit, and failing to ensure waste transfer notes were successfully completed or numerous occasions.
Originally the case was heard on 20 January 2012 but was reheard on 23 May 2012 as the company claimed to have not received the original summons and were not aware of the hearing.
The first charge was under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010 and the remaining three charges were under the Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991 and the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
A report was received on 29 September 2010 by the Environment Agency (EA) stating that materials were being stored at a site managed by owner Gary Shorthouse located off the side of Titterstone Clee Hill which is also on the boundary of Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
EA officers first went to the site on 13 October 2010 and they found materials in skips on the ground. Records showed there was no permit for the site and that a registered skip hire company, GR Shorthouse Ltd was based there.
Shorthouse was interviews on 15 November 2010 as an authorised representative of the company, during which he confirmed he was the director of GR Shorthouse Ltd and that the company was a skip hire and transport business. Also he confirmed that the skips filled with waste were owned by the company and that no permit was in place.
Officers then made a series of visits to the site between December 2010 and May 2011. During the visits they regularly inspected waste in skips and on the ground. Shorthouse was informed on a number of occasions that waste could not be stored at the site as there was no permit. This included both verbal and written warnings.
During the investigation, the EA requested that GR Shorthouse Ltd provide waste transfer notes, written to record the waste coming in and out of the site. 294 notes were supplied for the period of 15 January 2009 and 17 December 2010 although many of these documents were not completed properly.
The company told the court that the waste was stored on site due to resourcing problems. It said a driver was sick and there was a lorry off the road due to MOT failure. The court was also told that the company had been cooperative during the investigation and had entered an early guilty plea.