Greener Leith has learnt that the new owners of the Bonnington Bridge Bar, are in trouble with the law before they’ve even opened. The building, on Newhaven Road, is undergoing extensive renovations, with builders removing an apparently never ending amount of timber from the building. The trouble is they’re dumping it in the river or trying to burn it.
Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade have been called out twice to uncontrolled fires on the site, and by trying to burn the waste instead of disposing of it properly, the business is breaking waste laws set out in the Environmental Protection Act.
As you can see from the picture we took and submitted to Fix My Street, the waste is also being allowed to fall into the Water of Leith. Whilst it is depressing to see the river bank covered in rubbish, it is particularly galling to see rubbish dumped into the river as it is mainly kept clean by volunteers for the Water of Leith Conservation Trust. Indeed, according to the Trust website, more than 500 people, from school kids to bankers, put in more than 2000 hours of volunteer time last year to keep the river clean.
We understand that the City of Edinburgh Council Environmental Wardens have tried to contact the business owners repeatedly, but with little success, so now they’ve referred the owners to SEPA for “ongoing investigation and any enforcement they deem appropriate.”
We wonder if the folk who own this business are aware of the penalties they may face. According to the Dumb Dumpers website:
“Anyone who dumps rubbish illegally runs the risk of being hit with a fixed penalty notice of £50. If the case is taken to court, fines of up to £40,000 or six months’ imprisonment can be issued by Summary Procedure courts. Or if the case goes to a court of Solemn Procedure fines are unlimited and offenders can be imprisoned for up to five years.”
It turns out that this building has a criminal history. Last year, Police on the hunt for a stolen computer stumbled upon an illegal cannabis factory in the basement of the bar. According to this story, a man who rarely saw daylight was paid £100 per week to tend 353 cannabis plants. We don’t know what happened to him.