Suspended sentence for former V10 Polymers owner

The former owner of a plastics recycling centre in Blackburn has been given a suspended prison sentence and order to pay £10,000 for breaching his environmental permit.
David Holt was the owner of V10 Polymers Ltd. The Environment Agency became aware of problems at the site in 2012 after complaints were received from members of the public. Due to concerns about the way the site was being operated, the Environment Agency served a formal notice requiring the company to remove all controlled waste form the site. It also advised the company to apply for a permit if it wished to continue its operations. Any permit issued would require storage of combustible waste at the site to be improved and meet minimum fire prevention standards.
David Holt made an application and was issued a permit. However, the first inspection of the facility in April 2014 revealed excessive quantities of plastic waste stored in a manner that presented a fire risk and in breach of the company’s permit. A number of joint inspections were carried out by the Environment Agency and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Services to bring about improvements at the site but David Holt failed to adequately respond to those interventions.
The Environment Agency revoked the site’s permit from February 2016 and ordered the company to take steps to remove all remaining waste from the site by 21st March 2016. They decided to prosecute after the company continued to illegally operate without a permit, and failed to tackle the fire risk posed by excessive stockpiles of plastic waste.
On 21st August 2017, a serious fire at the site resulted in road closures and evacuation of nearby residents. Since then there have been another three fires which have significantly impacted on local residents and businesses. But the court was told that all the fires had happened after David Holt was evicted from the site.
David Holt pleaded guilty to three environmental offences, breaching the company’s environmental permit, failing to comply with enforcement notices and continuing to deposit waste despite suspension and subsequent revocation of its permit. He was sentenced to 8 months in prison, suspended for 2 years, and ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £10,000 of the £18,000 costs incurred by the Environment Agency in bringing the case against him.
V10 Polymers Ltd site has now been bought by Driftdale Ltd, an isle of Man company, who is now responsible for ensuring that waste is removed from the site and correctly disposed of. The company has planning permission for 181 houses. 

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