31 March 2021 by Robyn White

Bucks father and son convicted for burning waste

The Environment Agency has said a father and son have been convicted of storing and setting light to waste at a farm near Amersham.

The pair set light to waste on their farm near Amersham

According to statement from the Agency, the father, David Channer, received a six month jail term suspended for two years, while the son, Nicholas Channer was sent to prison for 12 months. This includes five months for breaching an unrelated suspended sentence.

David Channer was also ordered by High Wycombe magistrates’ court to pay the Environment Agency’s full costs of £14,925, and a £115 victim surcharge.

In a separate hearing at Aylesbury crown court, Nicholas Channer was fined £40,000, with full costs of £15,122.45, and a victim surcharge of £140.

Offences

The offences occurred between or before January 2017 to June 2019, where they allowed waste to be stored and burned at Mop End farm.

They were also prosecuted for not properly documenting moving the waste between different sites.

The Agency reported that the two accumulated “everything from wood and metal to waste from two agricultural concerns”.

It added that they set light to the waste as a “cheaper alternative to authorised disposal”, and left mounds of smouldering ash. The pair also incinerated waste that had been fly-tipped.

‘Plentiful warnings’

The Agency statement said district judge Malcolm Dodds called the 67-year-old father “pig-headed” for not responding to “plentiful warnings” from the Environment Agency, after he admitted to burning the waste.

It added that the 47-year-old son also managed a tree maintenance firm called Chiltern Tree Care, based at the farm, which created “significant amounts of waste that should have been disposed of legally”.

Mr Dodds added that the father “took no steps” to limit the effect of his son’s tree maintenance firm as the illegal rubbish built up.

The son was already subject to a suspended prison sentence for unrelated matters at the time of these offences.

As a result, he was jailed by Aylesbury crown court for five months, on top of the eight months for waste crime.

The Agency said it had been alerted to what the men were doing by Buckinghamshire county council.

‘Rightly punished’

Charlotte Milton, a senior environmental crime officer for the Environment Agency, said: “David and Nicholas Channer have been rightly punished by the courts for riding roughshod over the law around managing waste safely and securely.

“The men had no system in place to limit the amount or type of waste held at Mop End Farm. Nor did they establish measures to protect the environment or human health. The law requires anyone dealing with waste to keep it safe, make sure it’s handled responsibly, and only given to businesses authorised to take it.”

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