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Huge fines for business after fly-tip

30 January 2023
An image of the building waste found at The Social
The builders waste left at the rear of The Social

Business owners in Plymouth are being warned to look after their waste after a city centre eatery and bar was fined over £15,000 for a series of fly-tipping incidents.

The Social Bar and Eatery Ltd operated a cocktail bar and restaurant on Mayflower Street at the time of the offences, it was represented by joint directors Mr Ashley and Mrs Amy Abernethie during the hearing at Plymouth Magistrates Court on Monday 23 January.

The court heard how on three separate occasions from 2021 to 2022, fly-tipped waste was found at the back of the venue.

On the first occasion in January 2021, a large amount of builders waste was spotted by a Council environmental enforcement officer on public land at the rear of the premises backing on the Mayflower Car Park.

Mr and Mrs Abernethie were then sent a letter containing a written Interview Under Caution but it was not returned. A Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) for £400 was then issued.

Following this, in December 2021, yet more waste was found in the same location at the back of Mayflower Street. The waste consisted of black sacks of bar-type waste, including empty bottles of wine and spirits, food waste and a piece of grey, rattan-type outdoor seating. A receipt, printed with the business' name, was discovered in the waste.

Finally, in January 2022, more waste was discovered, this time in the form of cardboard and seating. The seating was of the same type as the business was using outside at the front of the venue.

The Council prosecuted the company following non-payment of the Fixed Penalty Notice and the subsequent offending.

The Social was fined £3,333 for the first offence, and £6,000 for each of the other two fly-tips. They were also ordered to pay £1,000 in costs and a £181 victim surcharge. The total bill of £16,514 must be paid within 28 days.

Councillor Bill Wakeham, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Street Scene, said: "Fly-tipping will not be tolerated in any form in Plymouth.

"Of course we want businesses of all types to succeed in our city, but not at the expense of the environment. The vast majority do the right thing so it is only right that when a business does not play by the rules, we step in with enforcement."