The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has welcomed Government plans to scrap DIY waste charges, calling them ‘desperately needed’ at a time of record levels of fly-tipping.

Households would no longer have to pay to get rid of DIY waste under plans set out by Defra, to change the rules that currently allows some local authorities to charge for waste from households. Under the proposals, household DIYers would not be charged to get rid of waste including plasterboards, bricks and bath units. 

It is part of a fresh move to crack down on fly-tipping, which has increased since the beginning of the pandemic, Defra said.

Dover and Thanet hotspots

A number of councils across the South East will also be awarded grants to tackle fly-tipping through trial projects, including CCTV to target hotspots.

These include Eastleigh, Buckinghamshire, Winchester, Dover, Thanet, and Basingstoke and Deane.

CLA South East represents thousands of farmers, landowners and rural businesses in Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and the Isle of Wight.

Regional Director Tim Bamford said: “We welcome these plans as they are desperately needed to help tackle record-levels of fly-tipping.

“The latest statistics from Defra revealed that incidents of fly-tipping on public land increased by 16% across England in 2020/2021, to more than 1.1million, with some boroughs and districts in the South East suffering a 100% rise in incidents compared with the year before.

“Sadly these figures do not tell the full story of this disgraceful behaviour which blights our beautiful countryside, as local authorities tend not to get involved with clearing incidences of fly-tipped waste from private land, leaving the landowner to clean up and foot what is often an extortionate bill.

“Fly-tipping has a massive environmental and financial impact, and councils should make it as easy as possible for waste to be disposed of responsibly. Charges and booking systems are potential barriers which are not helping.

“We would urge anyone who sees fly-tipping to report it, to help build up the most complete picture possible of the problems.”

£50,000 fine or year in prison for fly-tippers

The CLA is also calling for tougher penalties for those caught.

Mr Bamford added: “Although the maximum fine for anyone caught fly-tipping is £50,000 or 12 months’ imprisonment, if convicted in a Magistrates’ Court, this is rarely enforced. Unless tougher or more realistic action is taken to combat this kind of rural crime, it will continue to wreak devastation across rural communities.”

By Ed

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