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Establishing the Meaning of ‘Knowingly Permitted’ in Waste Operation Offences

28th November 2018 RIAMS

The latest digest by Tim Everett in the Legal Digest and Enforcement community on RIAMS Communities highlights Stone and Salhouse Norwich Ltd v Environment Agency [2018] EWHC 994 (Admin).

This case concerned a company, Stone and Salhouse Norwich Ltd, and one of their Directors. They had leased the site to a third party who had proceeded to use the site to recycle mattresses, subject to a permit under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010.

The preliminary issue was the application to allow a late appeal by case stated on a point of law against criminal convictions; in considering this, the High Court followed the three-step test set in previous cases and ruled that while the breach was serious, there was a reason and it would be just to hear the appeal.

On the substantive issues, the High Court held that the continued storage of mattresses for recycling on a site following the operator going out of business was a waste operation for the purposes of the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010 and 2016, as well as the Waste Framework Directive.

Following common law precedent, the High County also held that in order to convict the site owners for the offence of ‘knowingly permitting’ the operation without a permit, it was unnecessary to establish that the defendants had carried out any positive action. They only needed to prove that they knew the waste operation continued and they failed to take appropriate steps to prevent it.

To read the full digest, click here.

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