Man fined for dumping pallets at bonfire site ahead of July 12

Man fined for dumping pallets at bonfire site ahead of July 12

A MAN has been fined in connection with dumping pallets at a bonfire site in the run up to 'The Twelfth'.

Gareth Gill (50), with an address listed on the court charge sheet as Stirling Avenue, Newtownards, admitted two offences and has been fined £300.

He pleaded guilty to having 'controlled waste' between June 25 and July 8 in 2018 and depositing 'controlled waste' on July 8, 2018.

A prosecutor told Newtownards Magistrates' Court that on June 24, 2018, a police officer was at a yard in the area of industrial units at Lansdowne Road in Newtownards and "discovered suspected controlled waste".

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) was informed and they established there was "no authorisation for waste storage on the site".

The next day police and NIEA officers went to the site and there were "approximately 700 pallets" plus scrap wood and carpet.

The prosecutor said Gill said the "wood waste was fuel for his heater" and when cautioned he refused to answer questions and "claimed to have forgotten his name".

He was served with a Notice requiring him to remove the waste to a licensed site within three days.

On July 2, 2018, police found the waste was still present.

On July 8, 2018, the court was told, the police saw the defendant driving a vehicle to a location "adjacent to an electrical sub-station on Circular Road, Newtownards, where a group of men were noted to unload pallets from the vehicle and the defendant then drove off".

He returned later that day with "another load of pallets" which were also unloaded.

A short time later Gill was observed in a vehicle "loaded with pallets" and a "police checkpoint" was set up.

The court heard the defendant "reversed away when directed to stop".

The defendant was "offered a Fixed Penalty Notice of £300".

A defence lawyer said the Judge would no doubt "note the time of year" that the offences occurred and "essentially what we are dealing with here are pallets for a bonfire".

He said there had been representations made to the Department about the "definition of waste" in regard to pallets but the defendant has "taken a practical approach" and admitted the two charges.

  • Main picture: General image of pallets.