Thick smoke blowing across land at Clenchwarton in May. Picture: Kevin Elfleet

Action has been taken against a landowner who caused significant disruption by burning waste on land near Clenchwarton.

Nearby residents were urged to stay indoors and shut their windows last month as firefighters from across Norfolk tackled the blaze, with giant plumes of black smoke seen as far away as Skegness in Lincolnshire.

The Environment Agency (EA) has now issued a Stop Notice to the landowner involved, prohibiting the unauthorised deposit and burning of waste at Kenfield Farm in Main Road.

A Stop Notice is issued to prohibit a particular activity where the Environment Agency believes there is a significant risk of serious harm to human health or the environment.

A spokesperson for the EA said if the landowner fails to comply with the notice they can then be taken to court and prosecuted, as breaching the notice is a criminal offence.

The notice will remain in place until such action is taken to mitigate the risk and the site has been brought into compliance,the spokesperson added.

Investigations into alleged waste activities at the site are continuing.

Phil Henderson, EA enforcement team leader, said: “We take unauthorised waste activity very seriously and will take the necessary action to prevent the risks that this poses and prosecute those responsible where appropriate.

“Everyone producing waste, including small businesses and householders, must ensure that their waste is only taken by registered waste carriers to properly permitted waste sites otherwise they themselves could be liable to prosecution.”

The agency worked closely with West Norfolk Council and Norfolk Police in taking action.

A spokesperson for the borough council said: “This sort of behaviour shows an utter disregard for the local community and the environment, and we will not tolerate it.

“We will do everything in our power to put a stop to unauthorised waste disposal when we become aware of it.

“Tackling this sort of behaviour is most effective when agencies and the public work together.

“Our role is to work with the Environment Agency to investigate and take joint action when it happens.

“The public can help us by reporting incidents and eliminate the market for it by checking that any waste carrier they use to dispose of rubbish for them is licensed.”

If anyone witnesses waste being taken onto, or burning at Kenfield Farm, they should email EAN-Enforcement-West@environment-agency.gov.uk

Any other information about this or other sites can be provided by calling the Environment Agency’s free incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60 or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.