Case details for LEE AVERIES

Name: LEE AVERIES

Name: Averies Recycling (Swindon) Limited

Date of Birth: 15 / 10 / 1969

Date Order Starts: 1 / 4 / 2019

Disqualification Length: 6 Years 0 Month(s)

CRO Number: 06652577

Last Known Address: 1 Southview Cottages, The Marsh, Wanborough, , SWINDON, SN4 0AR

Conduct: 1. from 13 November 2013 at the latest, Lee Averies caused Averies Recycling (Swindon) Ltd (“ARSL”) to breach environmental legislation, which led the Environment Agency (“EA”) to incur costs of over £1m dealing with a subsequent fire. In that:

  • ARSL operated a non-hazardous waste treatment and transfer station at Marshgate under permits issued by the EA.
  • On 13 November 2013 Lee Averies, together with his co-director, signed a Memorandum of Agreement (“MOA”) with the Environment Agency as part of an agreement for guilty pleas to be given by Lee Averies and ARSL.
  • The MOA was to form the basis for a resolution of civil and criminal cases regarding the Marshgate, Swindon site (“Marshgate”) and also ongoing enforcement action in respect of the Units 1-7 Brindley Close, Swindon site (“Brindley Close”), a site leased by ARSL but operated by Swindon Skips Ltd (“SSL”), an associated company.
  • On 26 March 2014 the Environmental Permit relating to the operations at Marshgate was transferred to ARSL although ARSL had been operating the site for a number of years.
  • ARSL’s Environmental Permit allowed Marshgate to hold 5,000 tonnes of waste.
  • On 21 July 2014 a fire broke out at Marshgate. It is estimated that there were 8,825 tonnes of waste on the site on this day.
  • On 22, 23, 24 and 25 July 2014 the EA instructed ARSL to remove waste from Marshgate to enable the fire service to tackle the fire.
  • On 15 August 2014 the EA suspended ARSL’s environmental permits under Regulation 37(1) and (2) of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010. The EA also required ARSL to remove 3,000 tonnes of waste from Marshgate within a set schedule between 16 and 30 August 2014.
  • On 16 August 2014, as ARSL had not removed sufficient waste from Marshgate, the EA advised ARSL that they intended to exercise powers under Regulation 57(1) EPR 2010 as the EA considered that there was a risk of serious pollution.
  • Between 21 July 2014 and 26 August 2014 ARSL removed 519 tonnes of waste from Marshgate
  • Between 18 August 2014 and 16 September 2014 contractors instructed by the EA removed 3,341 tonnes of waste from Marshgate to allow the fire service safe access to the site to fight and extinguish the fire.
  • On 15 September 2014 the fire was extinguished and the fire service withdrew from Marshgate on 17 September 2014.
  • On 16 September 2014 the EA and their contractors withdrew from Marshgate and ceased using their powers under Regulation 57.
  • The Insolvency Service estimates that, following the removal of the waste from Marshgate between 21 July and 16 September 2014, 4,965 tonnes of waste was still on the site. The EA’s actions therefore brought the amount of waste stored on the site within the permit.
  • The cost of removing and disposing of waste from Marshgate and managing the site between 16 August and 16 September 2014 was borne by the EA, who have subsequently invoiced ARSL £1,008,088 for the recovery of these costs.
  • On 11 December 2014 the EA revoked ARSL’s environmental permits due to breaching those permits and ARSL ceased operating. Swindon Skips Ltd 2. From 13 November 2013 at the latest, Lee Averies caused Swindon Skips Ltd (“SSL”) to breach environmental legislation, which led the Environment Agency (“EA”) suspending and revoking SSL’s environmental permits and Swindon Borough Council (“SBC”), as landowner, to become liable for the estimated £500,000 costs of clearing the waste from SSL’s site. In that:
  • On 13 November 2013 Lee Averies and his co director of ARSL signed a Memorandum of Agreement (“MOA”) with the Environment Agency as part of an agreement for guilty pleas to be given by Lee Averies and ARSL.
  • The MOA was to form the basis for a resolution of civil and criminal cases regarding ARSL’s operations at the Marshgate, Swindon site (“Marshgate”) and also ongoing enforcement action in respect of the Units 1-7 Brindley Close, Swindon site (“Brindley Close”).
  • SSL operated a waste transfer and treatment facility at Brindley Close, which was leased by ARSL from SBC, under permits issued by the EA.
  • On 28 November 2013 a fire broke out at Brindley Close. The cause of the fire is unknown.
  • On 1 December 2013 the fire service left the site and the fire was left to burn itself out. On 13 December 2013 the fire was still smouldering.
  • Between 13 November 2013 and 18 July 2014 the EA carried out a number of inspections of Brindley Close. Following each visit a Compliance Assessment Report (“CAR”) was issued by the EA.
  • Each CAR highlighted where the EA assessed that SSL was breaching either environmental legislation, the environmental permit, technical guidance or the MOA.
  • The breaches highlighted included inadequate security of the site, waste being stored where not permitted and inadequate fire breaks between wastes.
  • On 18 July 2014 the EA suspended SSL’s permit, which meant that new waste could not be brought onto the site until the breaches were rectified.
  • Lee Averies tried to negotiate with the EA for the suspension to be lifted as, with no new waste being processed, SSL could not afford to process the waste already on the site in order to rectify the breaches.
  • On 12 November 2014 SSL was notified that its Environmental Permit would be revoked by the EA with effect from 11 December 2014.
  • As a result of being notified that the permits would be revoked, SSL ceased trading and on 21 November 2014 was placed into Liquidation.
  • All waste was left on Brindley Close.
  • On 5 March 2015 the Liquidators of ARSL disclaimed the leases of Brindley Close together with any waste left on the site.
  • SBC, as owner of Brindley Close, is responsible for dealing with the waste that was left on the site.
  • SBC has estimated that it will cost £500,000 to clear the site. 

    This information is correct as at 11 / 3 / 2019



    If you believe this page contains any errors, please email civil.proceedings.team@insolvency.gov.uk with details of the error that you have found.

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