Scrapyard boss has licence revoked after breaking environmental laws

Robby's Auto Dismantling has until July 31 to clear out the scrapyard. Pic: Environment Agency.
Robby's Auto Dismantling has until July 31 to clear out the scrapyard. Pic: Environment Agency.

A County Durham man has had the permit for his vehicle scrapyard revoked after breaking environmental laws.

The Environment Agency took the action against Robert Wright (snr), the former company director of Robby’s Auto Dismantling Ltd in Stanley, following a series of breaches of licence conditions after his son took over the business.

Robby's Auto Dismantling scrapyard in Stanley, County Durham. Pic: Environment Agency.

Robby's Auto Dismantling scrapyard in Stanley, County Durham. Pic: Environment Agency.

The decision means that Robby’s Auto Dismantling Ltd will no longer be authorised to accept and treat waste metals from July 15.

Environmental permits ensure the protection of the environment and local communities from the risk of pollution caused through the carrying out of waste activities.

Under the regulations, the permit must be in the name of the person who has overall control of the facility, and the site must employ an industry-qualified technically competent manager to provide waste management advice and guidance.

The permit for Robby’s Auto Dismantling Ltd was in the name of Robert Wright (snr), meaning he is legally responsible for ensuring the site is compliant.

In 2006 he retired and his sons Ian and Robert Wright (jnr) took over. In January 2013 Ian Wright took sole control of the business.

Throughout this period, environment officers repeatedly advised Ian and Robert Wright (snr) of the legal requirement to transfer the permit to Ian.

No application was ever received and officers were unable to take action against Ian Wright for a number of permit breaches on site because the permit was not in his name.

Environment officers deemed these permit breaches to be a result of lack of technical competence.

In addition, the permit holder had failed to pay subsistence fees since 2013.

Andrew Rothery from the Environment Agency said: “We have revoked the environmental permit for Robby’s Autos to protect the environment and ensure a level playing field for legitimate businesses. It is clear that the permit holder is not in a position to ensure compliance with permit conditions.”

“It is vital that waste companies comply with the law so communities and the environment are not put at risk.

"We work with operators to help them meet their obligations, but where significant or repeated breaches occur, we will take appropriate action to protect the environment.”

The revocation requires all waste is removed from the site and disposed of legally by July 31. Failure to do so may lead to legal action by the Environment Agency.

Anyone who experiences problems from this or any other waste site is urged to report the matter to the Environment Agency’s incident hotline on 0800 807060, or CrimeStoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.