From 9 May, local authorities will be able to issue fines for small scale fly-tipping of up to £400, as an alternative to prosecution, following the introduction of new Government regulations on the unauthorised deposit of wast

According to figures from DEFRA, 900,000 fly-tipping incidents were dealt with by local authorities in England during 2014/15. The CLA, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, says these figures exclude much of the waste dumped on farmland and other private land where it poses risks to local wildlife, farm animals and the environment.

Landowners are liable for any waste that is fly-tipped on their land and can be prosecuted if they do not clear it away, often at considerable cost to their business.

Robin Edwards, CLA South East Regional Director said that with Government figures revealing there were less than 2,000 prosecutions for fly-tipping in 2014/15, more effective action is urgently needed: “We have regular reports from our members across the South East of multiple fly tipping incidents, particularly when their land is located on the fringes of urban areas. The waste involved is not just the odd bin bag, but large household items, from unwanted sofas to broken washing machines and building materials. The problem seems to have worsened recently in some areas, possibly as a result of local authorities making changes to their household recycling operations.

“The CLA has been calling for offenders to be dealt with more robustly and we welcome this latest tightening in the regulations. Fixed penalty notices will not solve the problem, but they are a positive step in tackling an issue which is estimated to cost rural businesses an average of £800 per incident and is a continuing and damaging blight on our countryside.