Mildenhall Stadium owner fined �5,000 over illegal waste burning

The owner of Mildenhall Stadium has been find �5,000 for burning waste rather than disposing of it correctly.

Trading as RDC Promotions, David Coventry pleaded guilty at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court on Thursday to knowingly permitting the burning of waste on or before June 15, 2010. He was also ordered to pay full Environment Agency costs of �1,256.

Sarah Nicholson, prosecuting for the agency, told the court Coventry had a history of burning waste at the site and had been sent a warning letter in September 2008 after a fire in August. He was advised again in 2009 to stop.

“The fumes produced by the burning were acrid and potentially harmful although there was no evidence of actual environmental harm,” she said.

“There would have been a financial benefit as the costs of proper disposal of the cardboard were avoided.”

Magistrates heard that agency officers had been alerted three times to burning at the stadium and each time there was evidence of fires inside a large skip.

Coventry and his brother own Mildenhall Stadium where greyhound racing, speedway and stock car racing meetings take place. They provide facilities at the events such as toilets, office, bar and catering.

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He told officers that up until 2008 any overspill waste that did not fit into a skip to be taken away was burned. He said since then he burnt only cardboard in the skips but in June 2010 an employee had set fire to the cardboard and the whole skip had gone up.

Mrs Nicholson said that in among the burnt waste was metal food and drink cans, wires from burnt tyres, car parts and various plastics.

After the hearing, Environment Agency officer Nick Dyer said: “Today’s proceedings should be a sufficient deterrent against continued burning of any waste at Mildenhall Stadium, as well as a warning to others.

“Not only is the illegal disposal of waste to the detriment of the environment, it also undermines legitimate businesses.”