Published: Friday, 31st January 2020

A man has been ordered to pay more than £1,000 after burning carpet and doors at a business in Chatham.

In May 2017 Medway Council received a report that controlled waste, including foam-based sofas were being burned by Grays of Chatham Ltd staff at the back of the car dealership. An environmental enforcement officer visited the business and advised staff on how to properly dispose of waste.

In August 2019 the council’s environmental enforcement team received a report that Grays of Chatham Ltd were burning controlled waste, including carpet and doors, which had been collected from a house removal. An enforcement officer visited the business and spoke to Herbert Gray, the managing director of Grays Used Car Centre.

Gray, 71, pleaded guilty to allowing controlled waste to escape his control by burning it without an environmental permit at Medway Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, 14 January.

Magistrates fined Gray £750 and ordered him to pay costs of £250 and a victim surcharge of £75, totalling £1,075.

'Completely disregarded the welfare of local residents'

Cllr Jane Chitty, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder covering Enforcement, said: “We all have a responsibility to dispose of waste appropriately. In this case I am particularly disappointed as we had already spoken to the business and given them advice on how to properly dispose of their waste. This company completely disregarded the welfare of local residents and burned items which caused plumes of black smoke. I would encourage residents who are concerned about dark smoke coming from an industrial or trade premises to raise their concerns with the business directly, or to report them to us.”

The illegal disposal of waste does not just include fly-tipping, it also includes burning and burying waste without the correct permit. Report environmental issues, such as bonfires and smoke.

News archive