A FORMER National Farmers Union leader has pleaded not guilty to allowing the illegal dumping for waste at his farm near Kingswear.

Richard Haddock denied a total of 11 offences including allowing the illegal disposal of shellfish debris on land at his Churston Court Farm in South Devon.

The 65-year-old was one of Britain’s most high-profile farm leaders in the 2000s and 2010s and stood for the chairmanship of the NFU in 2000 before withdrawing his candidacy.

He served as the chairman of the NFU’s Livestock Committee in 2003 and led calls for Britain to retaliate against bans of meat imports by European Union nations during the BSE and Foot and Mouth crises.

Haddock farms land between Brixham and Kingswear, near Dartmouth, and is alleged to have committed the regulatory offences between 2008 and 2020.

He is accused of six offences of operating a regulated waste facility beyond the limits of the Environment Agency permit; four of failing to comply with a permit; and one of making a false or misleading statement to obtain a grant.

The allegations include allowing a layer of shell fish drainage in four specified fields and the importation of waste which did not have the required technical, chemical of geological characteristics.

Haddock pleaded not guilty to all the offences when he appeared at Exeter Crown Court. Judge Anna Richardson adjourned the case for a three to four week trial on November 6.