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Know your rights when it comes to fly-tipping

Land is often blighted by fly-tipping, so here are is a run down of your rights.


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Fly-tippers usually target rural areas
Fly-tippers usually target rural areas

Fly-tipping remains a major headache for landowners and those working on agricultural land.

 

New rules which came into effect this month gave local authorities greater powers to seize, and in some cases destroy, vehicles associated with fly-tipping crimes.

 

But despite these changes, the issue remains a top concern for farmers with 2013/14 figures showing 2,170 incidents were reported on UK farms.

 

Law firm Napthens has advised landowners to be aware of their rights when dealing with and preventing incidents of fly-tipping.

 

Warwick Alabaster, solicitor in Napthens’ litigation team, said: "Local councils have a responsibility for dealing with most cases of fly-tipping, but fly-tipping on private land rests with landowners.

 

"Local councils will not clear up after such incidents, but can investigate where appropriate and if a prosecution is brought, a court order can be made to get the landowner’s clean-up costs reimbursed. As fly-tipping is a crime, it can be reported to the police."

 

If an incident of fly-tipping does take place, Napthens urged landowners to record as many details as possible, including photographs so investigations can take place.

 

Mr Alabaster said: "It may be possible for the police to obtain fingerprints from an item, so try to store it out of the weather to preserve it. The waste will then need to be disposed of properly. Advice can be obtained from the local authority.

 

"Stopping fly-tipping is not easy. If it has already occurred, try and work with the relevant authority if a prosecution takes place. It may be possible to use trespass laws to help. The police can remove trespassers from private land."

 

The Control of Waste (Dealing with Seized Property) Regulations 2015 came into force throughout England and Wales on April 6, 2015. The legislation widened the range of offences a vehicle could be seized for.

 

It also removed the need for a warrant before seizure, and set out circumstances in which a vehicle could be destroyed.


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Your fly-tipping rights and procedures

Napthens’ tips for preventing and dealing with fly-tippers

  • Make sure land is secure with fencing and CCTV
  • Ensure relevant insurance is in place to cover clean-up costs
  • Tenanting landowners should make sure tenancy agreements are properly worded and checks on potential tenants are carried out
  • Register land with the Land Registry to prevent fly-tipping by squatters
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