Supermarket in Northampton fined after storing rubbish on its roof

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A Northampton supermarket and its director have been fined more than £4,000 for storing rubbish on its roof unsafely after claiming there was not enough room to do so outside.

Abdulla Amin, of Baltika Supermarket in Kettering Road, built an extension to the back of the store and, as a result, had restricted space compared with neighbouring shops.

He therefore asked staff to put rubbish on the flat roof of the building instead, Northampton Magistrates’ Court heard.

Catherine Girvan, prosecuting for Northampton Borough Council, said: “The premises is a convenienece store which has been extended out so there’s only a very small back yard and a very small place to put rubbish.

“A flat roof is accessed by a door.

“Employees have been going onto the flat roof to store items and, more recently, rubbish.

“The obvious risk is that a person may fall from the edge or rubbish may fall on to someoene.

“There is a three-metre, or 15 foot, drop and it’s a drop onto concrete, which could cause death or serious injury.”

The local authority have been formally asking Amin to stop using the roof or put up rail for about nine months.

Officers again told Amin in early July, but by August 7 nothing had changed.

Mrs Girvan said; “It’s obviously a significant risk. To some extent it may be ameliorated by ceasing to use the roof. I’m sure he will tell you there’s a difficulty in storing rubbish, but he must find another way or make it safe.

“The fact that nobody has been injured is a blessing. If employers are allowed to ignore requirements, there’s a risk breaches will become widespread and accidents will occur.”

Amin, who pleaded guilty to ignoring the council requirement, reiterated to the court that there was nowhere else to store rubbish and the staff never approached the edge of the roof.

However magistrates said there was still a risk of rubbish falling and injuring someone below and issued fines against both Baltika Supermarket and Amin.

Both were fined £1,500 and ordered to pay £378 each towards the borough council’s legal costs.