Part of a waste site has been hit with a three-month closure order for ‘nuisance’ burning.
The court order relates to the business operated by Thomas and Mary Smith, on Meadow Street in Great Harwood, and follows a temporary closure notice being served on the site earlier this month.
The site was raided by more than 100 police officers on Wednesday, September 6, as part of a ‘major’ multi-agency operation between Lancashire Police, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, the Environment Agency and Hyndburn council.
The three-month closure order issued by Blackburn Magistrates means the commercial side of the site generating the smoke must ‘cease all operations’ for the next three months.
Police said an 18-tonne air burner that was ‘largely responsible for the burning’ has been removed from the site and a Community Protection Notice prohibiting ‘the lighting and burning of waste producing smoke’ is also in force.
Speaking after the court hearing on Friday, a police spokesman said: “We are pleased that magistrates have seen fit to hand the T.H.Smith waste site a closure order as it is unacceptable that members of the public should have to live side-by-side with criminal, anti-social and environmental activities that have such an impact on their lives.
“The order will last for three months.
“We hope this reassures members of the local community that we are doing everything we can to address their concerns.
“If activity does continue at the site we will continue to work as a partnership, and will use all the powers available to us to ensure those responsible are dealt with accordingly.
“Today’s result is a positive step forward for the community of Hyndburn, and we would like to thank them for their patience and support while we have been working to reach this point.”
Police lawyers had hoped to obtain the closure order a week earlier at Burnley Magistrates Court, however the hearing had to be delayed due to lack of court time.
At that hearing defence solicitor Simon Farnsworth told District Judge James Clarke there were a ‘number of factual issues’.
Regarding the locations of the fires, he claimed that ‘half the area doesn’t belong to the defendant’ and that 80 people working on the site would be affected by the order.