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Vehicle seizures


We have the powers to seize a vehicle, trailer or mobile plant and their contents if it's believed the vehicle is being or will be used to commit a waste crime such as fly-tipping.

The powers were granted to Local Authorities in April 2015 when the Control of Waste (Dealing with Seized Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 were introduced.

The regulations set out the procedures Tunbridge Wells Borough Council must follow once they have seized property, for example a vehicle or its contents.

Vehicles and their contents can be seized under the Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989 or the Environmental Protection Act 1990 Section 34.

A vehicle can be seized in the following circumstances:

  • if it is used to illegally dump waste (fly tipping) in a way that could cause pollution to the environment or harm to human health
  • if it is driven by somebody who is not registered as a waste carrier
  • if it is used at a site that is breaking the rules of an environmental permit
  • if it is used to transfer waste to somebody who is not registered as the waste carrier

A seized vehicle can be held for the duration of 15 working days whilst it is being investigated.

Where a prosecution has been started, the vehicle may be retained for the duration of the prosecution and a Magistrate would decide whether the vehicle would be returned to its owner or surrendered for sale or destruction.

To claim a seized vehicle you must be the legal owner of the vehicle and be able to provide the following documents to prove this:

  • proof of Identity: valid photo card driving licence or valid passport
  • proof of address: two official documents displaying the applicants name and address no more than three months old
  • V5C vehicle registration document: in the name and current address of the applicant
  • valid current certificate of motor insurance: in the claimants name and current address
  • if a vehicle is loaded with waste or scrap metal: a valid waste carrier license and written information duty of care waste transfer documents for the load carried
  • if the vehicle is untaxed, it will need to be taxed before the vehicle is released

If we require further proof of legal ownership we will let you know within one working day.

You will then have two working days to provide any further proofs from receipt of the request, we will notify you of a decision within three working days of receipt of the additional information.

Where a vehicle has been claimed you will have 10 working days to collect the vehicle, if the vehicle is not collected within 10 working days it can be sold or destroyed.

If a vehicle is not claimed within 15 working days, it will be sold or destroyed and any proceeds will go against the seizure costs.

There are currently no seized vehicles.