Twyford Recycling Limited has been granted a Bespoke Permit to recycle tyres, taking them from an erstwhile T8 operator to a genuine tyre recycling operation with a view to bigger and better prospects
In December 2022, The directors of Twyford Recycling were found guilty of Environmental offences by Brighton Magistrates Court.
The Directors pleaded guilty, but the fines imposed were minimal. Director Gerard Harkin believed that the business had been subject to some competitive influence. The details of which we cannot go into here for legal reasons.
Initially, when applying for a new permit, the EA refused, stating that Directors Harkin and Bolye were not fit persons.
However, Harkin was not going to let things go and he appealed against the decision, and the Planning Inspectorate approved the appeal. The Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State, Mrs. Higenbottam decided as follows: ” I allow the appeal and direct the Environment Agency to reconsider the application, giving effect to the determination of this decision that the operator can be considered to be competent and to have demonstrated that they would be likely to comply with permit conditions for the purpose of the granting of an Environmental Permit.”
The appeal explains the low level of penalty imposed by the courts: “The sentence amounted to a fine for the appellant of £500, paying £500 costs and victim surcharge of £50 and the relevant individuals were each given 40 hours of unpaid work. The appellant states that it is clear that the mitigating circumstances were given significant weight with the court setting fines and individual community orders significantly below the level that would have equated to deliberate harm and instead aligned with low culpability harm. The appellant states that the sentence indicates that the court did not consider the appellant to be ‘incompetent’ or deliberately reckless.”
This explanation supports Harkin’s claim that the breach of the rules was down to circumstances rather than a deliberate action.
The inspector found that subject to some conditions being met, there were no reasons why Twyford Recycling should not be granted a permit, and directed the Environment Agency to “give effect” to the finding of the appeal.
On the 23rd November 2023, Twyford Recycling Ltd was granted a Bespoke Permit in accordance with the directions of the Planning Inspectorate.
Harkin told Tyre and Rubber Recycling, “It was a long fight but we got there in the end. Our previous breach was purely down to circumstances, and the Judge saw that at the time.
“We are now back and we have a Bespoke Permit that will allow us to continue the business within the conditions of the Permit. We are currently pouring concrete for the storage bays and expect to be fully operational very shortly.”
Harkin is still adamant that he and co-director Boyle had not intentionally breached the rules, but covid, a delay in shipping due to the Suez Canal blockage and the failure of others in the chain to do as they agreed led to the overstocking. “This time,” says Harkin. “We will be making sure that we are 100 per cent compliant both physically and in our paperwork. We have put a lot of money into building this business, and we are determined to make it work.”