- Written by Christian Fuller
- BBC News, South East
A large waste dump in Kent has been shut down by the Environment Agency to prevent further illegal dumping.
A court order has been made banning anyone from entering or leaving waste at Hawes Wood in Ashford.
According to the Environment Agency, gates at the site have been locked and concrete blocks have been placed to prevent entry.
Environmental manager Matt Higginson said: “We know that illegal waste activities have a negative impact on the environment and have a devastating impact on local communities.”
Anyone who enters a site of special scientific interest without valid reasons or written permission from the Environment Agency commits a criminal offence.
“Shocking and completely irresponsible”
Mr Higginson said the Environment Agency’s priority was to protect local communities and the environment.
“This order was secured following concerns from the local community and the environmental impact of dumping waste on site,” he said.
“To deter illegal dumping of waste at the site, we regularly inspect the site and, in conjunction with Kent Police’s local task force, are regularly present in the Haweswood area to assist with waste transport. We are stopping vehicles to check compliance.”
Detective Sergeant Darren Walshaw, from Kent Police’s Local Unit, said: ‘The scale of this site and the amount of illegally dumped waste is shocking and completely irresponsible.
“Fly tipping is often linked to other forms of crime, so we are supporting the Environment Agency and other partner agencies in their investigations and related enforcement activities.”