Fringe Box



Dramatic Early Morning Operation At Stoney Castle to Stop ‘Illegal’ Dumping

Published on: 12 Jul, 2021
Updated on: 13 Jul, 2021

By Hugh Coakley

A dramatic early morning enforcement action, carried out this morning (July 12) on the Stoney Castle waste site by GBC enforcement contractors, has finally stopped operations at the dump in Pirbright. GBC took control of the site where it is alleged that illegal dumping has been going on for decades.

The area, on the edge of Pirbright Common heathland and adjacent to a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) and a special protection area (SPA), has reportedly been in operation for over 30 years. The first enforcement action was taken by GBC in 1988.

See Pirbright Dump Being Investigated Following Reports Of Toxic Waste Disposal.

Access blocked to Stoney Castle unauthorised waste site in the early morning raid by GBC. The Dragon reporter was prevented from taking photos of the site entrance.

Around a dozen security staff with tabards emblazoned “enforcement officers” and two dog teams from Constant & Co, who normally specialise in debt collection, bailiff work and land recovery, were denying entry to three people they had removed from the site who lived there.

It was said that the waste contractors removed their equipment around two weeks ago even though dumping allegedly continued up to the weekend (July 10-11).

Fred Burns said she has lived there in a camper van for 10 years with her partner. Another person who did not want to be named was also evicted from his mobile home located on the controversial site.

Surrey and MOD police were present during the enforcement action.

Warrant of entry to the site did not authorise evictions say the occupants.

A GBC spokesperson said: “Today we have taken direct action to achieve compliance at the Stoney Castle site in Pirbright after serving notices under planning enforcement and environmental health legislation.

“As with all ongoing legal investigations, we are unable to disclose further details at this time.”

But angry occupant, Fred Burns, said they were “collateral damage” between the council and those dumping the waste which she said was nothing to do with them. “Why are GBC evicting us. We were engaged in a legal process with the council but they have evicted us without notice.”

She said they supported the site being cleared of illegal waste and had testified in court in 2017 in the only prosecution to date despite intimidation at the time.

The occupant’s dogs were driven off to an unnamed kennel around six hours after the raid on the Stoney Castle dump started.

Ms Burns claimed the council had no right to evict them as they only had a warrant of entry to the site. An enforcement officer said: “We have powers of removal.”

When asked by The Dragon reporter to see his authorisation to evict, the officer said he did not have to show it.

Ms Burns said: “They tricked us to come out of the site to talk to them and then wouldn’t let us back in. My dogs and medication are in there. I have been excluded from my home for over eight hours now and I asked for use of a toilet but I was told I couldn’t use the “welfare units” brought to site or my own facilities.”

Google Maps view of the controversial dump at Stoney Castle, Pirbright.

The four dogs owned by Fred Burns and her fellow occupant were taken to a kennel to be collected by the owners at a later date. Environmental health officer, Gary Durrant, told a furious Ms Burns he was not able to disclose the location of the kennels until he had GBC authorisation.

Ms Burns, who worked in the film industry supplying vehicles as props, said she had 32 transit vans on the site but has nowhere for them to go now she had been evicted. One GBC source told The Dragon that the council would be responsible for housing those forcibly removed from the site.

Dragon NEWS reporter at the scene, Hugh Coakley, was told by an irate security contractor that he would be forcibly removed from the lane leading to the site after he asked to approach the gate to take photos.

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Responses to Dramatic Early Morning Operation At Stoney Castle to Stop ‘Illegal’ Dumping

  1. Ian Stronge Reply

    July 13, 2021 at 8:12 am

    Thank you to Hugh Coakley for this good report.

    If this is not an authorised waste site, presumably those ‘dumping’ are breaking the law. What word of enforcement against them?

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    July 13, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    Once again: problem occurs; Dragon reports; publicity; action taken.

    Oh for the day when: problem occurs; action taken; Dragon reports.

  3. Gina Redpath Reply

    July 13, 2021 at 8:59 pm

    I am so glad this terrible problem is finally coming to a conclusion

    It was certainly too much for any individual to deal with.

    Thank you GBC and SCC and, of course, Daniel Hill who has worried about it all for far too long.

  4. L Lynch Reply

    July 14, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    I’m writing with regards to your most recent article about Stoney Castle, illegal waste dump.

    I truly believe that the only reason why GBC have taken action now is because The Guildford Dragon NEWS has put pressure on the councils and councillors by making the wider public aware of the dreadful situation that has been allowed to carry on there for so long. Whether it’s 30 years, 10 years or five years, it’s not acceptable.

    The council’s belated action will not stop the public wanting to know why it has taken them so long to do something about it. The damage that has been caused by their inaction has been disastrous and those in GBC and SCC who are responsible for not acting sooner should be held accountable.

    It also seems rather unfair that someone who has been breaking the law for 10 years by living on an illegal waste site, is complaining about being evicted and is going to be housed by GBC. Jumping the queue over those who abide by the law and have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and can’t pay their mortgage/rent.

    I can’t believe all the flimflammery written by the political parties and councillors on the subject and my opinion of them has reached a new low.

    Thanks again Guildford Dragon.

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