A PENSIONER has been jailed for six months for refusing to clean up a huge illegal rubbish dump he admitted running.
Roger Phipps, 72, who lives at Michelins Farm, Rayleigh, was sent to prison after Chelmsford Crown Court heard he failed to fully clear the land around his home and has not paid around £50,000 in fines and court costs.
Phipps pleaded guilty at the same court in January 2013 to seven waste and planning offences in connection with running the dump in a designated landscape improvement area without licenses or planning permision.
He turned 24 acres of green belt fields at Michelins Farm into the tip which took in and burnt asbestos, plastic, computer monitors, UV lights, loft insulation, concrete, scrap metal and timber.
Eyesore: Waste dumped at Michelins Farm in 2010
Judge David Turner said Phipps had been given every opportunity to comply with the law.
After the hearing Kelly Short, officer for the Environment Agency which brought the prosecutions with Rochford Council and Essex County Council, Short said: “From photographs it is apparent that significant amounts of waste were taken onto site, stored, sorted and burned. The smoke caused a nuisance and in some cases could have harmed people’s health.
“Phipps knew he needed a permit to run the site but ignored our advice for years.”
“We continue to work closely with Rochford Council to stop this site operating illegally.”
More in Monday's Echo.