Council accused over earth moving by man jailed over golf club waste

Herald Series: Work to fill in one of the old pools at Hinksey Work to fill in one of the old pools at Hinksey

A GOLF club owner jailed following a legal battle over waste, has criticised Oxford City Council for not gaining permission to move 2,500 tonnes of soil.

Ron Wyatt and his brother Mick were given jail sentences in 2012 of six months and four months respectively, over a lengthy legal battle with Oxfordshire County Council, which they say is still going on.

They used between 56,000 and 65,000 cubic metres of waste material from the construction of the M40 services to carry out landscaping work in the 1990s at Waterstock Golf Club near Wheatley, but did not get the correct permission.

Ron contacted the Oxford Mail after reading that the city council moved soil from the site of Blackbird Leys’ new leisure centre and used it to fill in a ball game facility at Hinksey outdoor pool off Abingdon Road, South Oxford, in November.

He discovered that the council did not apply for planning permission.

Mr Wyatt, 71, who was released from prison after three months in March last year, said: “Moving soil from Blackbird Leys down to Hinksey Park – that caught my eye.

“That material is classed as waste as soon as it leaves the site. No planning application has been asked for.

“That was the reason we fell foul of the county council back in 1997.

“We put some soil on our golf course in 1997 and we had to take it all off.”

The sentences served by the Wyatt brothers was for contempt of court for failing to comply with court orders that demanded they remove the 150,000 cubic metres of waste from land next to Waterstock Golf Club.

They say the waste has now been removed.

But Mr Wyatt added: “It is wrong that they should be able to do what they have done without planning permission.

“It said that the idea was to make a picnic area which is highly commendable. I am for it.

“But you have to make sure the material is clean.

“Our concern is that there should be some kind of equality in how they deal with these matters.”

Louisa Dean, spokeswoman for Oxford City Council, said: “We are aware of the planning regulations involving the removal of soil from one site to another.

“The various departments in the council have been in discussion to ensure that the appropriate permissions are in place.

“A retrospective planning application will be submitted.”

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