A MAN has been remanded in custody after being convicted of illegally storing scrap cars in North Yorkshire.

Malcolm Grange, 58, of Bryony Road, Harrogate, was found guilty of allowing scrap or end of life vehicles (ELV) to be kept at White Hall Farm at Felliscliffe, which he owned, and in garages behind Westfield Nursing Home in Killinghall which he leased, without an environmental permit.

The court heard Grange was also convicted in November 2008 for similar offences at the same location.

Environment Agency officers searched Grange’s home address in Bryony Road and land behind the nursing home on January 15, 2009, Giles Bridge, for the Environment Agency, said.

They found 17 vehicles in various states of disrepair outside the buildings, which were suspected to be owned by Grange.

Only two had registration plates, including a blue Ford pickup whose registration document was found at Grange’s home address, proving a connection between them.

Officers also found more than 80 vehicles, the majority being ELVs and beyond repair, at White Hall Farm.

At both sites some vehicles still had brake and oil fluid in them, which could potentially damage the environment if it leaked.

Paperwork seized at Grange’s home included receipts for vehicles that had been bought and waste transfer notes, where Grange had weighed in six vehicles for scrap.

When interviewed Grange accepted some of the cars at White Wall Farm were his, but said he was restoring them or storing them for someone else.

The court heard he walked out before he could be questioned about the vehicles behind Westfield Nursing Home.

The farm did not have planning permission for storing or dismantling ELVs and had no environmental permit for these activities, the court heard.

Mr Bridge said Grange was responsible for vehicles at both sites and these were ELVs, therefore classed as waste which an individual or business must hold an environmental permit to store or treat.

Steve Williamson, EA environmental crime officer, said: “This decision by the court demonstrates that blatant disregard for the environment and the law will not be tolerated.

“A decision about the clean up of both sites will be taken following the sentencing hearing on March 23.

“We want to take this opportunity to remind the public that when they dispose of a vehicle it should be through a regulated site.”

Grange will be sentenced at Harrogate, sitting as York Crown Court, on March 23.