Fly-tippers in London to be handed £400 spot fines in campaign to stop rubbish dumping in the streets

Kensington & Chelsea council is set to become the first borough in the capital to get tough with fixed penalty notices under new law which comes into force this month.

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Fly-tippers in central London could be handed £400 spot fines in a campaign to stop people dumping rubbish in the streets as Kensington & Chelsea council become the first borough in the capital to get tough with fixed penalty notices under new law which comes into force this month.

Not only is fly-tipping ugly and a health risk but constant dumping in some  areas is stripping large sums off the value of nearby homes, making it difficult for owners to move.

At present the largest instant fine councils can issue for dumping rubbish is £80. But if the borough's war on fly-tipping is successful, bigger fines are certain to be adopted across London.

Councils in the capital spend millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money annually clearing dumped rubbish. According to the latest data more than £25 million of Londoners’ money is spent clearing fly-tipped junk and prosecuting the offenders. Newham spent £3.5 million last year and cleared up almost 200 tips per day.

The problem was less severe in Kensington, where £243,370 was spent in the same period. The council spent a further £219,862 on taking legal action against offenders but succeeded in recovering just £505. 

Tim Ahearn, the council’s cabinet member for environmental health, said council officers are pressing for the increase in the hope that this level of fixed penalty notice will deter potential fly-tippers, “and complement the lower £80 fixed penalty notice for less serious offences that officers already utilise”.

Anyone caught dumping just one bag of rubbish will be treated as a litterer, and fined the lower amount. Those caught depositing two or more bags will face the £400 fine, payable within two weeks. 

Fly-tipping ranges from minor offences - people leaving a piece of unwanted furniture on the pavement in the hope that someone who wants it will take it away - to the spectacular. In New Cross residents complained that a mound of fly-tipped waste “the size of a football pitch” had been deposited close to New Cross Gate station.

A recent study by the Keep Britain Tidy Campaign said homes on littered streets could be worth up to 12 per cent less than similar properties on well-kept roads, while 93 per cent of house buyers said they would be deterred by the sight of litter dumped close to a property.

Research from found that 96 per cent of buyers would lower an offer if a property was in an area where fly-tipping was noticeable.

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