Unauthorised use of Crouchland Farm was '˜extensive and prolonged'

Farm Fuel Ltd has had its licence to operate vehicles suspended for 14 days after traffic commissioner Nicholas Denton found it had been using Crouchland Farm at Plaistow as an '˜unauthorised operating centre'.

The lorries at Crouchlands Farm used to transfer waste
The lorries at Crouchlands Farm used to transfer waste

His decision followed a public inquiry in May and June when he considered evidence it had been parking its vehicles overnight and over weekends at Crouchlands, when the authorised centre was in Woking.

The inquiry heard tachograph data showed vehicles were stationery at Crouchlands over weekends, although director Leon Mekiterian said they were being filled up or waiting to be filled up.

Commissioner Mr Denton said: “The unauthorised use has been extensive and prolonged and I further find the operator has sought to conceal the extent of this by its not entirely accurate claim its vehicles were ‘in use’ because they were being loaded during the periods in question.”

He ordered Farm Fuels to stop keeping vehicles at Crouchlands adding a ‘meaningful period of suspension is appropriate.’ The suspension will be from December 1-15.

In the mean time the date has been set for Crouchland Biogas Ltd’s appeal for permission to upgrade an existing anaerobic digester. The inquiry will take place from April 25-28 and May 3-4 at Brinsbury Campus.

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