Edward O’Neill, 57, received a two year conditional discharge and was ordered to £1,500 in costs after pleading guilty to illegally dumping and shredding tyres on vacant Nottinghamshire County Council land.

O’Neill, of Blacksmiths Close, Nether Broughton, Melton Mowbray, was the director of Robin Hood Environmental Ltd.

Lead officer for the Environment Agency’s investigation, David Brown, said after last week’s sentencing: “It is important that sites comply with the rules and regulations. Where companies choose to ignore these rules we will take action through the courts.

“We have worked together with our partners in Mansfield District Council to show that neither organisation will allow companies to threaten the environment or place the public at risk.

“Had this company still being in existence the penalties would have been far greater. Other companies and individuals should take careful note of this and follow the rules.”

It owned and operated a waste disposal site at Oakfield Lane, Warsop next to a vacant county council plot of land, the court heard.

The council land had no waste management licence but O’Neill used it as a waste disposal site, breaching the Environmental Protection Act.

Environment Agency inspectors told him on visits to the site he was unlawfully storing tyres and needed a waste management licence for the council-owned land. He was asked to remove the tyres but never complied.

O’Neill told agency officers he believed he owned the land, tyres had been deposited there for more than 20 years and the land was licensed.

The agency said not attempt was made to get a licence for the site, which caught fire in 2009 requiring fire brigade attendance.

In mitigation Tim Green said O’Neill had been misled by a surveyors’ report mistakenly showing his company owned the council land.

But, he admitted the defendant had failed to take any steps to remove the tyres when he had been informed of this error.

David Gibbs

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie