The Chulmleigh farmer was prosecuted by the Environment Agency and ordered to pay a total of £6,000 in fines and costs.

A NORTH Devon farmer has been ordered to pay £6,000 in fines for failing to remove illegal waste from land at Chulmleigh.

Around 50-100 tonnes of waste, including asbestos roof tiles, were found buried in a makeshift tip close to a stream and where cows were feeding.

The Environment Agency prosecuted Peter Ford after receiving a report in June 2011 that waste was being tipped and burned on land at Huntacott Farm, Chulmleigh.

Various different types of waste were found at the site, including soil, stone and construction rubble, asbestos roofing sheets, old tyres, kitchen units, white goods, electrical wiring, glass sheets plus a quantity of corrugated iron sheeting.

In October 2011 when an Environment Agency officer returned to the site, she noticed the area had been levelled out and there was evidence the waste had been buried.

Some of the waste had partially blocked a stream and in November 2011 the Agency dug five trenches to expose the contents of the waste tip, which was three metres high in some places.

In January 2012, Peter Ford admitted tipping the concrete blocks, stones and soil, but claimed the rest had been fly-tipped.

He agreed to remove the waste by the end of October but when the farm was inspected in January this year, this waste was still there.

Appearing before magistrates in Barnstaple, Ford pleaded guilty to failing to comply with an Enivornment Agency notice and was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 in costs.

Matt O’Brien, for the Environment Agency, said: “Farmers must not tip and illegally dispose of waste on their land, especially near streams as any pollution can spread and harm the environment.

“The defendant had every opportunity to remove these wastes, but failed to do so and we were left with no alternative other than to prosecute.”