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I am the legal owner of some land in Surrey, my Uncle has legal

access to it and is...
I am the legal owner of some land in Surrey, my Uncle has legal access to it and is having rubbish dumped there without my permission or planning permission. The Council are trying to prosecute me and not my Uncle as I am the legal land owner. How can I get them to prosecute the person doing it and not me ?
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Answered in 18 minutes by:
8/14/2013
Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 26,070
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
Verified

Joshua :

Thanks for your question. Please kindly RATE my answer when you are satisfied

Joshua :

Do you have evidence that your uncle is carrying out these acts please?

Joshua :

have you refused to do anything about the rubbish to date in response to the council?

Customer: Yes I have evidence, no we have not cleared it as it will cost me money and I want to try and stop him having any more waste dumped first.
Joshua :

Thanks. Would I be correct to assume that the council have served you with a notice under the Environmental Protection Act or another statute ordering you to clear the land and this has been ignored for the above reasons?

Joshua :

What stage have prosecution proceedings reached?

Customer: Yes you are correct, Environment Agency have emailed me and not answered why they will not prosecute the person doing it. They have asked for my address so they can serve me papers. I replied that I would give th my address (I now live in Thailand) when they answered my question. I am waiting for a response.
Joshua :

Thanks.

Joshua :

The matter must be addressed in two parts based on what you say - the position vis a vis the local authority and the position vis a vis your uncle. With your permission I will address each in turn.

Joshua :

Starting with the position with the local authority I am afraid I have nothing useful to say on this front because the Environmental Protection Act makes the landowner strictly liable for remediation in such circumstances even if you are in no way responsible. You will find that the LA will not agree to prosecute a third party for acts carried out on your land under the EPA. You are made solely liable under the same. This sounds entirely unfair in the circumstances but this is not the end of the story and you have redress against your uncle as follows. However in terms of clearing the site you should consider complying at your earliest opportunity or a prosecution can follow and/or the council can do it themselves and bill you for the cost. There is therefore no point in resisting them in respect of their request. In terms of your redress against you uncle, the position is as follows:

Joshua :

Your uncle is guilty of a variety of unlawful acts based on what you say. He is committing trespass occasioning damage to your land. He is also guilty of a statutory nuisance. Accordingly you have a claim against him for the cost of remedial action in respect of the land providing you can show evidence that on the balance of probability that it is him dumping the rubbish.

Joshua :

In terms of preventing him from continuing to dump in the future you may consider an injunction against him ordering him to cease and desist together with costs in each case.

Joshua :

In order to make a claim for costs and loss of amenity in the land against your uncle you can apply using form N244. In respect of an application for an injunction you will need form N16A.

Joshua :

You may need to ask a friend to represent you or appoint a solicitor if you cannot attent yourself.

Joshua :

Would you like links to the forms or is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 26,070
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Satisfied Customers: 26,070
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