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Hilton man breaches High Court injunction

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A 57-year-old man from Hilton has been ordered to remove hundreds of tonnes of illegally dumped waste, or face up to two years in prison after being found in contempt of court. The High Court also granted South Derbyshire District Council’s application to ban banger racing activity on the land, as well as prevent the illegal burning of waste or harassment of residents who supported the injunction application.

Giovanni Persico was found in contempt of court for breaching the conditions of an injunction not to hold banger racing events or race practice on more than 14 days a year. This also included a ban on carrying out development on the land without Council permission.

Persico burnt more than 300 tonnes of bales and waste containing plastics and other shredded material at Blakelow Farm, in Sutton Lane, in November 2017. The fire lasted 11 days and resulted in the partial closure of the A50 as well as complaints about air pollution from as far as five miles away. It came just two weeks after Persico provided the High Court with an undertaking (a legally binding promise) to stop having fires on the land.

The District Council launched an investigation into the fire to help protect nearby residents and the wider community. This resulted in Persico appearing before the High Court again for breaching his undertaking.

Sentencing has been postponed for three months to allow Persico the opportunity of legally disposing of the remaining bales of waste.

Cllr Andy MacPherson, Chairman of the Environment and Development Services Committee at the District Council, said: “The impact of the fire on this land has had a huge effect on the surrounding community and the environment.

“We will not hesitate to take enforcement action where appropriate, especially when the quality of life of local residents is impacted by the actions of anyone who chooses to deliberately flout the law. 

“It should be noted that we wouldn’t have been able to have taken these steps in this case without the support of the local community and the evidence they provided. We would like to thank them for their assistance.”

21 May 2018

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