Tewkesbury Borough Council has successfully prosecuted an individual for the burning of chemically treated waste wood on a domestic boiler.
Richard Cameron, of Parton Road, Churchdown in Gloucester, was burning the waste wood for the provision of heating and hot water – but the wood contained toxic chemicals such as paints and creosote which give off emissions that are extremely toxic to humans, animals and the environment.
Mr Cameron was initially served with an abatement notice requiring him to stop burning the waste wood on 22 August 2022, after a local resident contacted the council’s environmental health officers to report a particularly pungent and acrid smell coming from Mr Cameron’s property.
After a further complaint was made to the environmental health team on 23 September 2022, Mr Cameron was found to have breached the notice and enforcement proceedings began.
Appearing at Cheltenham Magistrates Court on 9 January, Mr Cameron pleaded guilty – he was fined £200 and ordered to pay £50 towards prosecution costs and a Victim Surcharge of £80.
Councillor Jim Mason, lead member for clean and green environment, said: “I’m pleased with this guilty verdict. While such action may seem understandable during a time when energy costs are high, it is essential that everyone refrains from burning anything which might potentially cause harm to other people, pets or wildlife.
“This prosecution also demonstrates the seriousness with which we take such breaches – we will always take action against any blatant disregard for our statutory notices.”
The prosecution was undertaken by One Legal, a legal service shared by Cheltenham Borough Council, Gloucester City Council, Stroud District Council and Tewkesbury Borough Council.