A FATHER and son have been rapped by a judge for operating an illegal skip hire business from a site in Arborfield.

Leslie Dunn, 54, of Eversley Road, Arborfield Cross, and his 30-year-old son, also named Leslie Dunn, of Reading Road, Winnersh, both pleaded guilty to a number of planning breaches following a major investigation by Wokingham Borough Council's planning and legal departments, alongside the Environment Agency.

The Dunns admitted the offences on May 23 but were sentenced on July 26 for failing to deal with prohibition notices challenging operations - including the skip hire operation - at their base in Arborfield.

Passing sentence at Reading Crown Court, Judge John Reddihough said they had consistently ignored the enforcement notice and done little to clear up the land.

Dunn Senior was given a community order with �300 costs and ordered to complete a five day training and employment programme. He was already serving a suspended sentence and the judge ordered that its supervision element be extended by six months.

Judge Reddihough gave Dunn Junior a community order, with 250 hours unpaid work. and �3,000 costs which must be paid within 12 months.

After the case Wokingham's director of legal services, Susanne Nelson-Wehrmeyer, said: "The council will not tolerate serious breaches of planning legislation, particularly where they have such a visible and potentially long-term effect on the environment as in this case.

"Planning breaches usually result in financial penalties only, so the passing of community penalties in this case sends out a strong message that such cases will be punished seriously.

"The message to those who flout planning law is clear, do so and you will be brought to account."