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Illegal waste site at North Runcton near King's Lynn could finally be cleared

PUBLISHED: 15:45 24 November 2017 | UPDATED: 17:31 24 November 2017

Mr Fuller pictured at the farm in 2001. Picture: EDP LIbrary

Mr Fuller pictured at the farm in 2001. Picture: EDP LIbrary

An illegal waste site near King's Lynn is set to be cleared of thousands of tonnes of rubble and other material.

The fire in January photographed by a drone. Picture: SubmittedThe fire in January photographed by a drone. Picture: Submitted

Operator Mark Fuller was jailed for 15 months in March 2016 for failing to clear construction waste, soil and timber piled up at Manor Farm, in North Runcton.

A large fire which broke out in a 15m-high pile of wood in January took more than 70 firefighters to bring under control and was still smouldering eight months later.

Today a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act, at King’s Lynn Crown Court, heard waste had still not been cleared from the site.

Prosecutors are seeking £233,445 from Mr Fuller under the act.

Roads around the site were closed after the fire broke out. Picture: Ian BurtRoads around the site were closed after the fire broke out. Picture: Ian Burt

But after two hours of negotiations with Mr Fuller and his counsel out of court, an agreement was made with regard to clearing the site.

Reopening the case Nicholas Ostrowski, prosecuting, told Judge Radford: “I’m pleased to say it has been productive in that an agreement has been reached regarding a way forward.”

Mr Ostrowski said a judge had given Mr Fuller directions to clear the site at a hearing in December 2016, but several thousand tonnes of material remained at Manor Farm.

A today’s hearing counsel for both parties agreed new directions, which Mr Fuller had signed.

Mr Ostrowski said: “Effectively what he has offered is to disclaim all ownership of the stockpiles, allow the [county] council to take ownership of it and allow the council to organise the treatment and collection of the material and hopefully make a profit from the material.”

Mr Ostrowski said Mr Fuller had agreed to allow the council to make a “thorough exploration” of the site to assess what waste was there and agree a valuation. He would also agree to give the council full legal title of the material.

Mr Fuller’s counsel Hugh Vass said his client agreed the sum of £233,445. Money realised by the county council from sale of materials on site will be deducted from that.

The case was re-listed for a date to be fixed in April, when Mr Ostrowski said it was likely a “nominal” confiscation order would be sought.

Norfolk County Council first served enforcement notices on Mr Fuller in 2010. Large piles of material could be seen from the nearby A10.

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