FURTHER action has been called for by residents after the owner of an illegally-run scrapyard, which had been branded an 'eyesore', was fined.
Stuart Dickinson was ordered to pay £17,760 by Blackburn magistrates following a prosecution by the Environment Agency.
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People who live nearby Baxenden Auto Repairs have been joined by Hyndburn Council leader Cllr Miles Parkinson in calling on the agency to step up monitoring of the yard and similar operations at the bottom of nearby Alliance Street.
The court was told the site was tightly-packed with car parts lying on the ground and old vehicles stored in various states of disrepair.
Environment Agency officers said they had inspected the site on several occasions, advised Mr Dickinson these operations required a permit and he was committing an offence.
However despite this, it remained unchanged with waste still on site and vehicles deposited on unmade ground.
They also found large amounts of vehicle parts and general scrap metal.
Mr Dickinson said he believed because he intended to restore the vehicles, the parts were not waste and he did not require a permit but the court ruled against him.
Brian Stevens, 53, who lives in the street, said he hoped the penalty 'acts as a warning to others that they will not get away with it'.
He said: “It's an eyesore. There are scrap vehicles piled on top of each other and it’s worrying because they might collapse.
“The whole area has been downgraded because of these scrap yards.
“I hope it acts as a warning to others that they will not get away with it.”
Lee Matthews, 54, of Manchester Road, said: "I think the authorities need to monitor all the yards round here closely.
"It can be pretty hellish at times."
Another resident of Alliance Street said: "At last something has been done. We have been campaigning about scrapyard operations round here for years."
Cllr Parkinson said: "The Environment Agency has the powers to close this yard if Mr Dickinson continues to break the law and if he does should use them.
"They also need to closely monitor other scrapyards in the area to ensure they are properly licensed and complying with the conditions of those permits
"We have had problems with the operation of scrapyards in this area of Baxenden over the years."
Mr Dickinson was found guilty at Blackburn Magistrates Court of operating an end-of-life vehicle site without an environmental permit at Baxenden Auto Repairs, Unit 1, Turkey Red Industrial Estate, off Manchester Road.
He was fined £2,760 and ordered to pay a contribution of £15,000 towards the Environment Agency’s costs.
Mr Dickinson, who lives in Hoyle Street in Rising Bridge, said he would in future comply with the legal requirements around his operation.
He told the court his firm was a vehicle repair and restoration business but the District Judge James Clarke ruled he had been carrying on waste operations without an environmental permit.
Judge Clarke was satisfied Mr Dickinson’s primary business was vehicle repair and restoration rather than dealing in scrap.
He accepted it may have been Mr Dickinson’s ambition to restore the vehicles on site however a waste operation had developed overtime.
Judge Clarke said he was satisfied harvesting of vehicles on site for parts had taken place and that some of the scrap vehicles were beyond saving.
Baxenden councillor Terry Hurn said: "I am pleased the Environment Agency have taken action against Mr Dickinson.
"They now need to keep a close eye on him and other similar operations in the area as we have had lot of complaints from residents."
Mr Dickinson said: "In future I will try to ensure I comply with all legal requirements."