A PENRITH scrapyard which has operated illegally for the past year and a half has been ordered to permanently close.

Karl Albert and John Joseph Bowman of Lakeland View, Penrith had been operating a scrapyard from their home premises without the licence needed to make it legal since July 2018.

But magistrates at Carlisle’s Rickergate court ruled on Wednesday that the site must close, following court action pursued by Eden Council’s Environmental Protection team.

Magistrates served Karl Albert and John Joseph Bowman with a Closure Order, which takes effect immediately.

This order replaces a temporary Closure Notice, which was served to Bowman and Bowman in December 2019.

As a result of this order, the pair are now unable collect, receive, purchase or sell scrap from their site or from anywhere else.

The owners had failed to apply for a new licence to run their scrapyard, after their old one expired in June 2018.

Eden Council’s principal Environmental Health officer Sara Watson said that no application for a new licence had been received, despite numerous requests made to the owners.

She said: “Allowing unlicensed scrap yards and dealers to operate has helped to feed a crime wave that has looted the UK’s railway cables, copper roofs, sculptures and anything else made of metal that can fit on the back of a wagon.”

“Since 2013, all scrap dealers, collectors and motor salvage operators must be licensed, a process which includes a criminal record check.

“When scrap is picked up or sold, identification of the owner must be provided and no cash must be given.”

At Wednesday’s Carlisle Magistrates’ hearing, Eden Council was also awarded costs of £1,500 by the court.