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Carew scrap yard was ‘dangerously near water source’

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Scrap yard: Did not have correct permits

A BUSINESS trio adopted an attitude of brinkmanship and ran the risk of poisoning thousands of people in Pembrokeshire, a judge heard today.

George Jones, his partner Jennifer Frearson and his son Nening Jones, operated a scrap metal business at Carew Airfield in breach of regulations and close to a water source used as a reserve for supplies of drinking water.

Judge Paul Thomas said at today’s sentencing hearing they ignored letters and advice in the pursuit of “staggering” amounts of money that may have exceeded £1.2m.

Although no actual harm was caused, he added, all three had followed a cavalier attitude of brinkmanship and “pushed matters to the limit.”

George Jones, 57, and Frearson, aged 46, both of Strawberry Fields, Clayford Road, Kilgetty, and Nening Jones, 34, of Sageston near Tenby, admitted or were found guilty after a trial of operating a scrap metal facility without a permit, duty of care offences and failing to keep adequate records.

JONES NEARLY JAILED

George Jones, who had a previous conviction for contravening environmental health regulations, was told by Judge Thomas he had come close to being sent to prison.

He was instead made the subject of a two year community order and told to carry out 260 hours of unpaid work for the community. Frearson and Nening Jones received 12 month orders and told to carry out 160 and 50 hours of work respectively.

Enviroventure Ltd was fined a nominal £1 for each of four offences.

Swansea crown court heard that “further consequences” could follow once a Proceeds of Crime investigation had been completed. That will reveal how much the trio made from the venture and what could be confiscated by way of money and assets.

Danger to water-source: Waste could have polluted drinking water

Danger to heath: Waste could have polluted drinking water

Judge Thomas told the defendants, “The regulations for such matters are there not because someone wants to be picky but for the protection of the environment and, by extension, the welfare of people living in the area.

“There was no actual harm here but there was a risk of harm.”

George Jones, he added, had come across during his trial as a dishonest man.

He had recruited Frearson, added Judge Thomas, as “a face, a patsy” to cover his involvement. And he had used his son Nening Jones as his “apprentice.”

The court heard that Frearson “had absolutely no knowledge” of how to run a waste management operation.

‘BEING A DIRECTOR HAS RESPONSIBILITIES’ – JUDGE THOMAS

But Judge Thomas said that becoming a company director “was not just something that looks good on a passport” but brought with it responsibilities.

Mary Youell, South West Operations Manager for Natural Resources Wales, said after the hearing that the scrap metal operation was still functioning, but in compliance with the regulations.

She said NRW was only too keen to work with companies in the recycling of materials and in the proper disposal of waste. But the regulations had to be abided by.

“We hope the outcome of this case will send out a positive message to the waste industry, that Natural Resources Wales supports legitimate business and will not tolerate those who seek to profit by breaking the law, risking harm to local communities or damaging the environment.

“The motivation behind the crime was financial. The site did not have the necessary permissions and consequently the infrastructure to protect the environment and it undercut legitimate, permitted sites,” she added.

The POC investigation is expected to be completed by March, when a further court hearing will take place.

£660K IN CASH PAYMENTS

The Environment Agency told The Herald: “Officers carried out site visits between May and October 2011 and found numerous breaches of the ELV permit held for the Scrapyard area. This involved the depollution of vehicles on site which did not have the required infrastructure to do so; inappropriate storage of batteries; drainage issues; areas of the site where bunding and concrete was not being maintained.

A spokesman added: “Waste materials such as tyres, waste vehicles and oil drums were also observed being stored outside of the permitted area. Numerous oil spillages were also observed on site. Waste tyres, scrap metal and general skip waste were also stored at the Workshop and Northern Yard areas without an environmental permit and outside the terms and conditions of any registered exemptions. Approximately £660K was paid in cash to Enviroventure Ltd for sale of scrap metal originating from the Scrapyard for the period when they did not hold an environmental permit or exemption to operate a general scrapyard from the site and for the sale of scrap vehicles when they were not compliant with their ELV permit.”

“A total of 20 charges were brought against Enviroventure Ltd and Nenning Jones combined for offences relating to operating outside the terms of an environmental permit and also operating and knowingly causing / permitting the operation of a regulated facility without the benefit of an environmental permit between 1 June 2011 and 31 December 2011.”

 

 

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Hayley Wood

    October 27, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    How do we know this has not caused any danger to the public? It can take years before any symptoms appear!

  2. ELISA Geo Pugh

    October 29, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    time this company should be shut down for good & any money paid to the courts & other authorities that have been involved in bringing this to trial so the public purse isn’t out of pocket. These people are just a bunch of crooks looking after their own interests

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Business

Covid 19 grants for small businesses

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COUNCILLOR PAUL MILLER, the Authority’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture, has announced that applications for business support grants can be made from today (March 27, 2020).

Access to the online application form can be found on the Council’s Business webpage via the following link:
https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/business-advice-and-support

You can email other business enquiries about the impacts of Covid 19 via the following email address: covid19businesssupport@pembrokeshire.gov.uk
Councillor Miller said: “The team have been working flat out to get this scheme up and running as we know just how important this support is to business right now.
“Government has promised the cash will be with us by the 1st April and the second it is, we’ll be distributing that support to our businesses.”

The following grants are available to small businesses to support the costs associated with the impact of Covid 19 on their businesses as follows:
• small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
• grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
Councillor Miller added: “I know our local businesses are doing all they can to sustain jobs and livelihoods. Our job is to get assistance to them as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“While our application form wasn’t the first to go live – we were hoping not to need an application at all – we have developed an automated system which will allow us to begin making payments, into businesses bank accounts, the minute funds arrive from Government.”

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Business

St Clears McDonald’s gets go ahead

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THE REFUSAL of a planning application for a McDonald’s near St Clears could provide very costly for Carmarthenshire County Council after the Planning Inspectorate permitted an appeal and awarded costs to a development company.
The Planning Inspectorate’s ruling also states the developer is no longer bound by an undertaking to improve pedestrian access by improving a pedestrian crossing in St Clears.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Planning Committee voted to deny the application on Thursday, September 19 last year.

Council officers recommended approval of the scheme, which caused an uproar in the community. There were around 270 objections to the planned McDonald’s and Costa Coffee against 28 broadly in favour of it.

Officers told councillors the alterations to the road layout around the restaurant would benefit an un-associated housing development scheduled for land adjacent to the site. The 50-home building scheme is within St Clears’ development limit.

Surprisingly for a business intending to make a profit from users accessing the site solely by car, planning officers accepted the contention that any increase in traffic would be marginal without addressing why – if such were the case – such a large site was needed for the restaurant and coffee house.

At the Planning Committee meeting, councillors expressed concerns about the traffic impact on the town and the impact on local businesses. However, the sole reason for denying the application was that the plans were for land outside – but immediately next to – the Local Development Plan limits for St Clears.

At the time, the Chair of the Council’s Planning Committee, Cllr Alun Lenny, sought advice from the Head of Planning whether the issue raised by councillors was a material planning consideration. Llinos Quelch confirmed the development’s location was not necessarily a determining factor.

She continued to explain economic development land was not always within the LDP boundaries. That did not mean it was a straightforward refusal as the officer had set out his reasons why the development overrode the boundary consideration.

Cllr Alun Lenny expressed concerns about the reasons being advanced for refusal. However, despite the clear advice from the Head of Planning, Committee members voted unanimously to reject the plans.

The only dissenting vote coming from Cllr Lenny, who again expressed concern the reasons advanced for rejection might not stand up to an appeal.

Cllr Lenny’s concerns about his fellow councillors’ actions proved amply justified.

The Planning Inspector noted that the plans were for a location directly opposite an existing Travelodge and that economic development was a material consideration which overrode the Planning Committee’s sole objection regarding the boundary of the development area.

He also said: “Although located outside the development limits identified in the LDP, the prevailing character of the site’s environs is edge-of-settlement rather than open countryside, with visible development close by in most directions.

“The locality does not possess any designation indicating any special landscape sensitivity or value. Moreover, the developed character of the site’s environs is likely to be reinforced as the housing site on its north-east side is delivered. Given the presence of this housing allocation, the appeal proposal would not result in a materially harmful erosion of the gap separating the development limits of St Clears and Pwll Trap. ln summary, the proposal would relate well to the existing built form of the locality and would not harm the area’s character and appearance.”

While dismissing the reason given by the Council for rejecting the proposal, the Inspector also said competition between businesses – to which many local objections related – was not a material planning consideration.

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Business

Young Tenby-based currency trader making £8k a day

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BBC ONE Wales show ‘Young, Welsh and Pretty Minted’ will feature Pembrokeshire-based currency trader Ashley Richards this week.

The successful young entrepreneur, who lives in Tenby, fuels a life of fast cars and expensive watches by making thousands of pounds per-day with just a few simple phone calls.

Ashley, 20, has been trading online for 4 years and discovered that he’d failed his GCSE exams on the same day that he also made £470 trading currency online.

“That’s the day I first found out that I could make money without any GCSEs or qualifications,” says Ashley confidently.

“I’ve always thought that I would want to do business at university and I was thinking to myself, ‘What’s the point of learning how to do business when you can do it and learn on the job?'”

From there, Ashley launched into a risky career that has given him an incredible £200,000 a year since.

Ashley spends his money on cars, he currently owns 4 including a BMW i8 that cost a staggering £115,000, but never forgets the Pembrokeshire council estate he grew up on, returning to visit regularly so he never forgets his roots.

A spokesperson for the show told The Herald “Ashley is living the fantasy life from his seaside home in Tenby.

Armed with only his laptop and a mobile, he has been known to bring home £8,000 in one day by trading currency online. He supports his appetite for fast cars and designer watches working just two hours a day, but with his mates all working full time, it can be a lonely place to be.”

A high risk career like currency trading can involve losing money, something Ashley is more than aware of: “You’ve got to have it in the back of your mind that you can possibly lose money. I’ve lost money before, but how I look at it is that I’ve just profited less than I would’ve.”

Ashley also uses his new found wealth to help his mother out “It’s every son’s or daughter’s dream to be able to really treat their parents. It is really nice.

“My mum has definitely done her bit so it’s only fair that I reward her. That’s one of the main reasons why I work so hard because I just want to make sure my family has an easier life.”

Ashley’s amazing story is on ‘Young, Welsh and Pretty Minted’ which will air on BBC One Wales tonight (Feb 24) at 10:35pm

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