TRAGO Mills has been fined £185,000 after it admitted dumping and burning illegal waste at its sites in Newton Abbot and Liskeard.

In all the company will have to pay just under £200,000 once costs and victim surcharge are taken into account.

Last year, environmental agency officers removed 11,700 tonnes of waste found dumped in three areas from the Newton Abbot site. That included 66,000 tonnes of hazardous material and 3.3 tonnes of asbestos roofing sheets.

At a sentencing hearing in Torquay on Wednesday, the company tried to put the blame onto their site manager, who had since left the company.

Richard Matthews, counsel for Trago Mills said that the charges had been 'frustrating' for the board as there were on-site recycling facilities and contracts in place for the correct disposal of waste.

But chairman of the bench Chris Rogers said that the practise had been 'regular' and 'continuing'. Charles Robertson (Developments) Ltd, the company which owns the Cornwall store, pleaded guilty to three counts of dumping and incinerating controlled waste without a permit. Trago Mills (South Devon) Ltd, which owns the Newton Abbot store, admitted two counts of dumping controlled waste and disposing of it in a manner likely to cause pollution.

Afterwards the company expressed disappointment that the Environment Agency had decided to prosecute