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Environment Regulatory

Any business which manufactures, builds or grows will be subject to a plethora of environmental regulations, including regulations on waste, permits, contaminated land, water and air pollution and nuisance.

Our Regulatory Team is able to assist in any environmental matter, including:

  • Challenging enforcement notices
  • Challenging unlawful decisions by the regulator
  • Advising on letters from the Environment Agency or Local Council
  • Advising on, and preparing, statements in response to criminal investigations and attending interviews
  • Defending prosecutions for environmental offences

Housebuilders, developers, and construction - how we can help you

All businesses within the construction and development sector will be subject to environmental regulations, including everything from waste to permits to tree preservation to contaminated land to water and air pollution to nuisance. Although many of these will be considered at the planning stage of any development, sometimes issues can arise later in a project which leads to the regulator taking action against you. Our Regulatory Team is able to assist in any environmental matter, including:

  • Challenging enforcement notices
  • Advising on letters from the Environment Agency or Council
  • Advising and preparing statements in response to criminal investigations and attending interviews
  • Defending prosecutions for environmental offences
  • Challenging unlawful decisions by the regulator

What are the top five environmental issues facing housebuilders and developers?

At Roythornes, we have recognised expertise in advising developer clients at every stage of their projects. Below are the five most common environmental issues which are faced by our developer clients.

  1. Trees. Across the country, every council will have hundreds or thousands of trees which are protected either by virtue of being located in a conservation area or under Tree Preservation Order. Where those protected trees are in the way of development, the landowner, developer and builders will need to comply with the regulations when dealing with those trees.
  2. Waste. The rules on ‘waste’ are complex and a legal minefield. All building work, no matter the site, will require waste or produce waste. It is easy to fall foul of the rules on waste management if you do not have the proper advice. Anything from getting topsoil from another company to getting rid of any material dug up on site preparation can require a permit or exemption. For an example, please see our blog here.  [insert link].
  3. Water pollution. There are very strict rules on ensuring that construction work does not pollute the water course. The location and height of the site should be dealt with at the planning stage, although sometimes matters can be overlooked or issues discovered later in the development process.
  4. Contamination. Sometimes land can be unknowingly contaminated and that is discovered only after building has started, or incorrect materials can be used which causes the land to become contaminated, or known contaminated land is not decontaminated properly. All situations can lead to action by the regulator.
  5. Nuisance. Where a development is near residential dwellings, there is a potential for nuisance if the construction is not carried out within acceptable hours or with acceptable materials. Nuisance is generally too much noise, distressing smells or high levels of dust in the air. The latter can also mean breaches of the air pollution rules.

If you receive a letter, notice or summons in respect of any of the above issues, please contact our Regulatory Team who will be happy to help.

Farming and agriculture - how we can help you

All businesses within the agriculture sector will be subject to environmental regulations, including everything from waste to permits to tree preservation to contaminated land to water and air pollution to nuisance. Breaches of any of the complicated regulations can lead to action by the regulator(s). Our Regulatory Team is able to assist in any environmental matter, including:

  • Challenging enforcement notices
  • Advising on letters from the Environment Agency or Council
  • Advising and preparing statements in response to criminal investigations and attending interviews
  • Defending prosecutions for environmental offences
  • Challenging unlawful decisions by the regulator

What are the top five environmental issues facing farmers?

At Roythornes, we have recognised expertise in advising farming clients on the environmental aspects of every section of their businesses. Below are the five most common environmental issues which are faced by our farming clients.

  1. Trees. Across the country, every council will have hundreds or thousands of trees which are protected either by virtue of being located in a conservation area or under a Tree Preservation Order. Where those protected trees are on your farm or on a farm you are working on, you will need to comply with the regulations when dealing with those trees.
  2. Waste. The rules on ‘waste’ are complex and a legal minefield. All farms produce waste. It is easy to fall foul of the rules on waste management if you do not have the proper advice. For example, getting rid of used silage wrap and fertiliser bags and processing and spreading organic manure can fall under the waste regulations depending on the situation. 
  3. Water pollution. There are very strict rules on ensuring that farming activities do not pollute the water course. The most important is the Farming Rules for Water, which dictate what and when you can spread organic and inorganic fertiliser on your fields. Failure to comply and any actual pollution of the watercourse can result in prosecutions and hefty fines.
  4. Fly-tipping. The fact that farms are rural and many fields are bordered by smaller roads with less frequent traffic, makes farms an attractive target for people wishing to get away with disposing of waste illegally. As fly-tippers are usually difficult if not impossible to trace, the proper disposal of any fly-tipped waste will be the responsibility of the landowner or occupier. Please see our top tips for avoiding fly-tipping here. [insert link]
  5. Nuisance. Where a farm is near residential dwellings, there is a potential for nuisance. Nuisance is generally too much noise, distressing smells or high levels of dust in the air. The latter can also mean breaches of the air pollution rules.

If you receive a letter, notice or summons in respect of any of the above issues, please contact our Regulatory team who will be happy to help.

AIMS and meat businesses - how we can help you

All businesses within the meat industry will be subject to environmental regulations, as well as the more obvious Food Regulations, including everything from waste to permits to water and air pollution to nuisance. Breaches of any of these complicated regulations can lead to action by the regulator(s). Our Regulatory Team is able to assist in any environmental matter, including:

  • Challenging enforcement notices
  • Advising on letters from the Environment Agency or Council
  • Advising and preparing statements in response to criminal investigations and attending interviews
  • Defending  prosecutions for environmental offences
  • Challenging unlawful decisions by the regulator

What are the top three environmental issues facing slaughterhouses and butchers?

At Roythornes, we have recognised expertise in advising meat businesses on the environmental aspects of every section of their businesses. Below are the three most common environmental issues which are faced by our slaughterhouses and butcher clients.

  1. Nuisance. Where an abattoir or butcher’s shop is near residential dwellings, there is a potential for nuisance. Nuisance is generally too much noise, distressing smells or high levels of dust in the air. For slaughterhouses, by far the most common ‘nuisance’ is smells which cause some distress to people who live or work in close proximity to the slaughterhouse.
  2. Waste. The rules on ‘waste’ are complex and a legal minefield. All slaughterhouses and butchers produce waste. For the meat industry, the animal by-product regulations sit on top of the general rules on waste, so it is easy to fall foul of the rules on waste management if you do not have the proper advice. From getting rid of parts of carcases unfit for human and animal consumption in the correct bins to disposing of the dirty straw from the lairage and using protective clothing to getting rid of the run-off wash water, there are different rules which apply.
  3. Water pollution. There are very strict rules on ensuring that production activities do not pollute the water course. These include the Farming Rules for Water, which dictate what and when you can spread organic fertiliser on your fields. It was common practice until just a few years ago to spread unprocessed blood collected during killing over fields. This is now precluded by law. Run-off wash water from cleaning down the abattoir needs to drain properly and not be left to run into nearby fields or straight into rivers. Failure to comply with the rules and any pollution of the water course can result in prosecutions and hefty fines.

If you receive a letter, notice or summons in respect of any of the above issues, please contact our Regulatory team who will be happy to help.