THE joint owners of land surrounding the only surviving eight-sailed windmill in the country have been fined £16,000 for allowing waste to pile up in the yard at the back of the mill over a number of years.
Lincoln Magistrates on Wednesday fined the men responsible after hearing that the piles of rubbish had a negative impact on the 19th century tourist attraction at Heckington.
Peter Jeffrey Pocklington and Martyn Nicholas Pocklington were each fined £8,000 (including the victim surcharge) and each ordered to pay £2,000 costs after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to two offences of illegally storing waste on the land between April 2010 and May 2011. At the earlier hearing the court made an order compelling the pair to clear the site of rubbish by June 29 this year.
The Pocklingtons blamed fly-tippers and a tenant for the rubbish on their land but the court was told they did nothing to block the entrance or clear away the mixed waste, which included asbestos, construction waste, plastics, household waste and Astroturf.
Anne-Lise McDonald, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, said they were advised several times that they could not store waste without an appropriate environmental permit but had failed to respond to the advice.
Mrs McDonald said that some of the waste was hazardous and was stored on a mixture of concrete and soil instead of being kept securely.
In mitigation, the court heard that the waste had been tipped by third parties. The Pocklingtons had spent £10,000 buying equipment to treat the Astroturf and £6,000 to landfill the remaining waste. Ill health within the family had distracted them from clearing the land.
District Judge John Stobart said in sentencing that the area was totally despoiled by the tipping of a mix of materials from Astroturf to asbestos. He acknowledged that the Pocklingtons had taken steps now and reduced their fines as a result.