top of page
  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

Council imposes maximum fine for fly-tipping in Mid and East Antrim

Black bags of rubbish in countryside highlighting fly-tipping

Fly-tipping in Mid and East Antrim will result in a penalty of £400 after councillors approved a steeper fine at a recent meeting of the borough council’s Neighbourhoods and Communities meeting.

A penalty of £300 will apply if it is paid within 14 days. The cost of a fixed penalty will rise from the current one of £120.

The council must prove the offender committed the offence and the person responsible may be required to remove the material. The removal of material dumped on private land may not be enforced unless it is possible to prove that the landowner has knowingly caused or permitted the offence.

Statistics presented to a recent meeting of the Neighbourhoods and Communities Committee for the period between November 1, 2022 until March 31, 2023 show 126 complaints received by the council for littering and fly-tipping with 25 validated upon investigation and 15 fixed penalty notices issued.

The council says it considers fly-tipping to involve an accumulated quantity of waste. It is also considered to be unsightly, damaging to habitats and costly to clear. The local authority can take offenders to court.

Speaking at this week’s meeting, Knockagh DUP Councillor Marc Collins said:

“I am quite happy to see this on the agenda. It is almost two years since I brought a notice of notion to the council about introducing tougher penalties for fly-tipping. This is still not going far enough but a good step in the right direction. I am not keen on an early payment option. I am not keen on giving a discount.”

However, he said he hoped it would be “a bit more of a deterrent especially in rural areas”.

In January 2022, Cllr Collins noted 324 incidents reported to the local authority to date that financial year. During 2019/20, there were 393 and 469, the previous year. He also highlighted clean-up costs shared by the council to the tune of £35k and costing DAERA £17k.

Larne Lough Alliance Cllr Maeve Donnelly said she was “happy to second” the recommendation of approving the penalty increase. “The Eco Rangers in Larne will be happy to see this,” she added.

Braid Sinn Fein Cllr Archie Rea asked if the penalty could be £400 plus expenses noting the “colossal” cost involved for the council.

Patricia Allen, the council’s head of public protection, health and well-being, said being able to identify the offender is “not normally the case”. She explained that £400 is the maximum sum that the local authority can charge.


bottom of page