Dispute over land values lands man back in court

A MAN who was fined after setting up an illegal waste transfer station has appeared in court again.

Mark Butterworth, director of Springwood Trading Limited at Springwood Mill, Pudsey Road, Cornholme, Todmorden, was given an eight month prison sentence suspended for 12 months in May 2010.

He had admitted failing to comply with an enforcement notice and 11 further offences about keeping, treatment and disposal of controlled waste.

Butterworth reappeared at Bradford Crown Court for a confiscation hearing - to decide how much he has to repay.

The last time the land was valued was in 2006, when it was worth £140,000. Now Butterworth says it is worth £50,000.

Giles Bridge, prosecuting on behalf of the Environment Agency and Calderdale Council, said if the valuation of £140,000 is accepted, they would only be able to recoup £50,000 as Butterworth also owes £80,000 in loans.

Another £4,000 could be raised by selling a Landrover registered to Butterworth and 20 skips at the site.

Mr Bridge said: “We accept given the economic situation there has been some decrease in value.”

No agreement could be made about the current value, so the case was adjourned for a new valuation to be made.

Judge Peter Benson said: “I am at a loss in this case. It seems to me there’s been fault on both sides. It’s looking regrettable to me there will be another adjournment.

“There’s going to be a further use of public money but it seems to me that if you want to rely on the fact this is worth more than £50,000 then you will have to do that.” The case was adjourned to May 20.