SOILGATE: Female chimney sweep threatened with prosecution for wanting to use topsoil from her garden on her allotment

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A female chimney sweep has incurred the wrath of her town council neighbours over a ‘Soilgate’ scandal.

Rachel Lewis thought she was being environmentally friendly when she wanted to transport tonnes of prime topsoil salvaged from her garden makeover to her allotment leased from Olney Town Council.

But when she informed clerk Liam Costello out of courtesy she was met with a email threat – of prosecution.

“If you drop any of that at the allotments, you will be prosecuted for the dumping of Controlled Waste,” he wrote.

And, noting the bags of soil stacked outside Rachel’s house, he added: “MK Council have been made aware that you have dumped controlled waste on the highway.”

Rachel, who runs Ashwood Chimneys business with her husband, said: “I have never heard anything so ridiculous in my life. Who on earth does this man think he is?”

She lives right next door to the town council’s offices in Olney High Street and decided recently to dig out her garden and pave it.

“I told the council not to worry about the bags of soil because I’d organised a lorry to take it to my allotment,” she said.

Rachel classes soil recycled from her own garden as domestic waste but Mr Costello insists it is commercial, saying there is too much of it to be catagorised domestic.

This week Rachel solved the problem by putting out a Facebook invitation for people to help themselves to the rich, black soil.

“People loved it. They came with bags and took it away. Ironically many of them put it on their allotments!”