Former company boss fined after illegal waste dumped at quarry

Plastic, wood and metal were taken to Nuthampstead shooting ground to build an embankment that was ten metres high

Plastic, wood and metal were taken to Nuthampstead shooting ground to build an embankment that was ten metres high - Credit: Environment Agency

The former junior director of a quarry company has been fined after illegal waste was dumped at Anstey Quarry. 

Royston's Nicholas Bramwell, then a junior director of The Anstey Quarry Company Ltd, and senior partner Liam Winters, ignored the Environment Agency’s instructions to stop filling the landfill site with banned waste.

Bramwell, 42, was fined £1,450 after admitting to breaching five counts of environmental law.

Waste dumped at Anstey quarry contained small fragments of contaminating plastic, wood, metal and packaging, as well as soil

Waste dumped at Anstey quarry contained small fragments of contaminating plastic, wood, metal and packaging, as well as soil - Credit: Environment Agency

Winters, based in Warwickshire, pleaded guilty to the same charges, but will be sentenced following a separate trial in March next year, where he faces charges of dumping waste illegally at a quarry near Stevenage.

The Anstey Quarry Company Ltd leased the quarry in Buntingford and had a permit to treat and dispose of up to 10,000 tonnes of clean soil waste.

Waste dumped at Anstey quarry contained small fragments of contaminating plastic, wood, metal and packaging, as well as soil

Waste dumped at Anstey quarry contained small fragments of contaminating plastic, wood, metal and packaging, as well as soil - Credit: Environment Agency

However, the court heard the waste was said to be 30 times that figure, and contained small fragments of contaminating plastic, wood, metal and packaging, as well as soil.

The company stood to save money in how much landfill tax it paid.

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Investigators first visited the site in February 2015 and told Winters and Bramwell the huge quantities on site increased the risk of pollution when it decomposed. They were given a month to dispose of it legally.

Nuthampstead shooting ground

Plastic, wood and metal were taken to Nuthampstead shooting ground to build an embankment that was ten metres high - Credit: Environment Agency

One mound of the prohibited waste reached 20 metres, the height of five double-decker buses. Soil was used to cover some of the offending remains in an attempt to avoid detection. 

The following July, five months after the men were given the first warning, the Environment Agency served an enforcement notice, ordering the business to stop taking in material that could do damage. The notice was ignored.

Clare Richards, an installations officer for the Environment Agency in Hertfordshire, said: “It was clear every time we visited Anstey Quarry over nearly 18 months how there was no substantial change to the illegal way the site was being run.

“Operations like this are damaging in many ways, including the potential or actual harm caused to the environment by storing waste materials outside the law; and the financial effect on businesses who follow the rules, pay their way and protect the environment.

“Despite warnings from the Environment Agency to stop, the company continued bringing illegal waste onto the site. Winters and Bramwell knew the risks.”

Officers’ attention was then drawn to landscaping work undertaken by the company at Nuthampstead shooting ground.

More plastic, wood and metal were taken to the venue to build an embankment that was ten metres high when investigators inspected it.  

Bramwell was also ordered to pay £8,000 towards the Environment Agency’s costs, and a victim surcharge of £120.

The Anstey Quarry Company Ltd entered liquidation in 2018.