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Ashford: Great Chart Golf and Leisure owners Grant and John Kay in court over illegally dumped waste


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Owners of a leisure complex were hauled before a court after an investigation found 42,000 tonnes of waste had been illegally dumped at their site.

Brothers Grant and John Kay, who run the Great Chart Golf and Leisure in Ashford, allowed a number of hauliers to dump waste at the attraction in exchange for payment.

An Environment Agency probe found 2,157 lorry loads of waste were dropped between 2012 and 2015.

Some of the illegally deposited waste at the site. Picture: Environment Agency
Some of the illegally deposited waste at the site. Picture: Environment Agency

Sevenoaks Magistrates' Court heard the brothers used the waste to create bunds around their driving range and build a zorbing ramp.

Haulier Mark Luck, from Mark Luck Limited, was fined £40,000 for his part in the dumping, while Robert Body, of Robert Body Haulage Limited, was penalised £26,000.

Mark Luck Limited had deposited 1,292 loads between 2012 and 2015, with Robert Body Haulage Limited dropping 715 loads.

Grant and John Kay appeared in court
Grant and John Kay appeared in court

Grant and John Kay were individually fined £325 with Grant Kay having to pay £4,723 costs and John £2,724.

The court heard all four parties were fully cooperative with the Environment Agency’s investigation and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

The court accepted the brothers had limited knowledge of the waste industry but the hauliers - both of whom have a long history in the business - should have known better than to deposit large volumes of waste on the site.

Some of the waste was used by the brothers to create a zorbing ramp
Some of the waste was used by the brothers to create a zorbing ramp

The Kays had raised an area of ground outside the terms of three U1 exemptions that had been registered with the Environment Agency.

Only one of the exemptions may be registered on a site in a three-year period and allows the use of only up to 1,000 tonnes of clean waste soil in a small scale construction scheme.

To import more than 1,000 tonnes of soil, the operators should have obtained an environmental permit from the Environment Agency.

The court heard all four parties were fully cooperative with the Environment Agency’s investigation and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

The court accepted the brothers had limited knowledge of the waste industry but the hauliers - who both had a long history in the business - should have known better than to deposit large volumes of waste on the site.

Environment manager Alan Cansdale said: “The Environment Agency support the use of U1 exemptions for those who wish to use small quantities of clean waste in construction projects.

"We will not tolerate however the deposit of excessive volumes or inappropriate waste for financial gain under the terms of this authorisation.

“While we will work closely with businesses to help them comply with such legislation, in cases where individuals consistently operate illegally and in this case outside the terms of an exemption, we have no hesitation in prosecuting them.”

The Great Chart Golf and Leisure complex, off Bears Lane, is home to a driving range, golf course, archery and paintball.

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