Dereham garage owner jailed for storing end of life vehicles

A Dereham garage owner has been jailed after ignoring Environment Agency warnings about storing end of life vehicles (ELVs) and parts.

Environment agencyColin Barnes of Podmore Lane, Scarning, Norfolk, was given a six-month jail sentence at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on 15 July. He was ordered to pay a fine of £5,000 and was handed a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO), which sets out a series of legally-binding conditions he must adhere to or face further punishment.

In November 2021, Colin Barnes pleaded guilty to storing ELVs and parts without a permit at his premises. He was given a suspended sentence of 16 weeks for those offences, on the condition he remained offence free. The court also made a Remediation Order that he must clear the waste from his site by mid-January 2022 or face immediate imprisonment.

In January 2022, following the expiry of the Remediation Order, Environment Agency officers inspected the site and found it had not been cleared. Evidence was found of more ELVs and various car parts including gearboxes, suspension units and tyres stored at the site.

The court heard that officers had visited the site 18 times between November 2019 and July 2022 and made ‘every effort to work with Mr Barnes’. After this, Environment Agency prosecutor Sarah Dunne applied to the court for a CBO.

District Judge Wilson granted the order and set out the following prohibitions and requirements for Barnes to obey. This order remains in force for a period of five years.

Under the CBO, Colin Barnes must:

  • Not hold a Waste Carrier Licence
  • Surrender his waste carrier licence to the Environment Agency to the Environment Agency’s office within seven working days of the date of this order
  • Not apply for a further Waste Carrier Licence
  • Not register or cause to be registered, with the Environment Agency, any waste exemption
  • Not be involved with the operation of any business, in his own name or otherwise, under any waste exemption that has been registered with the Environment Agency

Commenting on this news, Ms Dunne said: "Barnes had been given ‘chance after chance’ to clear the waste and to work with the Environment Agency.
"The site remained a risk to the environment and undermined competitors who operated within the law."

Lesley Robertson, East Anglia Area Enforcement Team Leader, added: "Despite the court imposing a suspended custodial sentence and Order in November 2021 to remove waste from his site, Mr Barnes continued to store and treat waste illegally without an environmental permit.

"Barnes operated at a commercial advantage, undermining legitimate business with little or no regard for the environment or residents. By imposing this prison sentence, CBO and £5,000 costs, the District Judge demonstrated how seriously they viewed Mr Barnes’ activities and behaviour."