Flytipping is an increasing social problem. “Commercial” fly-tipping (ie fly-tipping undertaken on a massive scale by recurrent offenders rather than one person moving flat and leaving their mattress in an alley) is becoming not only a social problem but also an enormous financial headache for those on whose property the fly-tipping ends up.
Steven Woolf has been at the forefront of the battle against these highly organised commercial fly-tippers. The battle started with Steven acting largely for local authorities to protect hundreds of green spaces in and around London. The strategy has been to obtain preventative injunctions against encampments and fly-tipping which make any breach a contempt of court and therefore subject to fines, seizure of assets and prison by way of a swift court procedure (see Steven’s article – “The future approach – using a preventative injunction to protect green spaces”).
This strategy has been so effective – and therefore so popular with local authorities – that the problem is moving from green spaces (initially seen by commercial fly-tippers as an easy target) to commercial premises – something Steven predicted (see his article – “Green space borough-wide preventative injunctions: the next stage”). The last six months has seen a dramatic increase in fly- tipping in industrial areas.
Steven was in court again this week, this time successfully obtaining similar protection for a large scale industrial area belonging to a London borough.
By granting what is thought to be the first interim protection order of its kind, the High Court has recognised that there is little point granting protective injunctions to green spaces, if the court is not going to give similar protection against fly tippers infiltrating industrial sites. This is a significant victory for landowners left with the huge cost of cleaning up after industrial scale fly-tipping.
Going forward, Steven's view is that an appropriate application to the High Court by landowners or local authorities trying to keep open spaces clear of encampments and fly-tipping will be sympathetically received. Preventing fly-tipping works for the good of the local residents and the community.