Stadium owner fined for burning waste illegally

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THE owner of Mildenhall Stadium has been fined £5,000 for burning rubbish at the popular greyhound and motorsport track.

David Coventry, who trades as RDC Promotions, pleaded guilty at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court on June 2 to knowingly permitting the burning of waste on or before June 15 last year.

The court heard that Coventry had been visited by Environment Agency inspectors who discovered that cardboard, food packaging, tyres and plastic had been burned in a skip in the stadium’s yard in West Stow.

Coventry had been sent a warning letter following an incident on August 29, 2008 but when officers returned on June 15, 2010, they found waste was again being burned in a skip.

Sarah Nicholson, prosecuting, said: “On August 29, 2008, an environment office inspector saw and smelt dark acrid smoke coming from the stadium.

“He observed a big open ended skip full with still smouldering food and drink cans, tins and unidentifiable plastic waste.”

She added: “On June 15, 2010, another officer investigated the stadium. He could see smoke coming from a fenced area – waste was being burned in the same blue skip.”

Mr Coventry said he was confused by advice he had been given by the district council.

He said: “We were told by the district council that smoke produced from burning materials should be white and not black. That is why we continued to burn cardboard.

“On the day in question I had a meeting away from Mildenhall. The skips were full so they had decided to burn the cardboard and the whole lot went up.”

Mrs Nicholson said the council’s advice was related to the Clean Air Act, a separate issue from burning waste at a business location.

Coventry was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £1,256 in costs. He also has to pay a £15 victim surcharge.