A HAMPSHIRE tyre business has been fined thousands of pounds for illegally stockpiling 45,000 of waste tyres at an industrial estate.

Alan Skinner, who operated from  Marchwood Industrial Park, has been convicted at Southampton Magistrates' Court.

He was given a four month suspended prison sentence, ordered to do 100 hours' community service and pay costs of £5,495.

The court heard that in April 2011 Mr Skinner registered exemptions with the Environment Agency for the storage, use and recovery of waste tyres at his business.

The strict conditions imposed for this activity meant that no more than 40 tonnes of waste tyres could be stored or treated under his exemption.

In August 2011, Environment Agency officers inspected the premises following concerns from the landowners that Mr Skinner was storing an unacceptable number of tyres.

The officers saw that Mr Skinner had considerably exceeded the permitted number of tyres at his exempt site and was storing thousands more in an adjacent unit that was not authorised in any way for the storage of tyres.

Mr Skinner was advised he had six weeks to reduce the number of tyres on site to the exemption limit or apply for an environment permit which, if granted, would allow him to operate on the scale he wanted.

Despite the warning, Mr Skinner neither reduced the number of tyres nor applied for an environmental permit. When officers visited the premises in November they found it abandoned with all plant and machinery gone.

Instead of clearing the two sites of tyres before he left, Mr Skinner had deliberately imported even more, cramming in as many tyres as possible.

Following Mr Skinner's departure, the landlord of the site had to pay over £26,000 to have the waste tyres removed and disposed of at an authorised facility.

The final number of tyres weighed approximately 390 tonnes, almost ten times the quantity permitted by the exemption.

Stuart Moroney of the Environment Agency said: “Mr Skinner was well aware of his obligations regarding the number of tyres he was allowed on site but made little attempt to comply, despite our efforts to advise him on how to run a legitimate business.

“As a result Mr Skinner left tens of thousands of waste tyres at the site that could have posed a severe fire risk to the community.

"This was in addition to causing an eyesore and leaving the landlord of the premises to foot the bill for their proper removal. I hope the case sends a clear message to others who may attempt to profit from illegal activities such as this that waste crime does not pay.”