Stoke & Staffordshire

Men in waste ban after five-month fire near Rugeley

Denis Ward and Steven Reeves-Morgan
Image caption A permanent order was made against Denis Ward and Steven Reeves-Morgan at Birmingham's High Court

Two men have been permanently banned from moving materials from the site of a waste fire which is still smouldering five months after being set alight.

Denis Ward and Steven Reeves-Morgan "unlawfully" brought waste on to Slitting Mill farm, near Rugeley, Staffordshire County Council said.

The pair were served a high court injunction order on Monday.

Residents had to keep their windows shut for days after the 1,000 tonnes of waste was set alight last September.

Staffordshire Fire Service were informed about a two-hour controlled burn at Oak Tree Farm at Slitting Mill, but it later got out of control, creating thick smoke around the area.

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Any breach of the permanent order, which was enforced at Birmingham High Court on Monday, could result in a fine, assets seized or jail.

Image copyright Staffordshire Fire Service
Image caption Fire crews used soil to smother the fire and called in an expert on dealing with waste fires

The order states Mr Ward and Mr Reeves-Morgan must not bring any new waste on to the site, or recycle or burn or, disturb the waste which is currently burning.

In addition, they cannot remove any waste unless it is being taken to an authorised site.

The authority served an interim injunction in November.

Image caption The fire was deliberately started but later got out of control

Gill Heath, environment leader for the council, said: "We're pleased to have been able to take positive action against two people who have been operating this unlawful site.

"Their actions and the fire have caused distress to the local community and have been unacceptable."

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