Litter - Fixed Penalty Notices

Section 87 and 88 of the Environmental Protection Act (1990) states that if a person drops, throws, deposits or leaves anything so as to cause defacement in any land open to the air, they could be committing a littering offence. Litter includes all smoking, drinking and food related waste including cigarette butts and chewing gum.

Test Valley Borough Council has a zero tolerance approach to littering.


The Environmental Service Enforcement Team patrol throughout the whole Borough and will issue a Fixed Penalty Notice to anyone caught littering.


The Fixed Penalty Notice is £150 (or £75 if paid within 7 days).

Failure to pay will result in prosecution which may lead to a fine of up to £2500.

Who can be fined?
Anyone aged 17 years and above who is caught dropping litter by an authorised officer.

Where can I be fined?
It is an offence to drop litter anywhere in the open air, regardless of who owns the land. This includes rivers, lakes and drainage systems. The exceptions to the offence include if the littering is authorised by law or done by or with the consent of the owner, occupier or other authority or person having control of the area. There are no excuses for dropping litter. There should be a litter bin within walking distance of most litter hotspots. If there is not a litter bin nearby, individuals should act responsibly and take their litter home.

Do offenders have to pay the fine on the spot?
No - payments can only be made to Customer Services at Test Valley Borough Council. When a Fixed Penalty Notice is issued, the authorised officer will take the offender's name and address. They will be handed the notice (a copy is kept by the officer). The offender will then have 14 days to pay the fixed penalty. If the offender refuses to pay, they will be taken to court which can lead to a fine of up to £2500. The Council cannot accept payments in instalments as there is no discretion in the legislation for this.

Can I appeal?
Anyone issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice has the right to appeal. The appeal process will be explained by the authorised officer at the time of the offence. All appeals must be made in writing to the address below:

Customer Service Unit
Test Valley Borough Council
Beech Hurst
Weyhill Road
SP10 3AJ

Once an appeal has been received, it will be considered by an Appeals Panel within 10 working days (of receipt of the written appeal). If the offender wishes someone to appeal on their behalf, a signed statement of consent must be provided along with the written appeal.