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Winvic fined £160,000 for polluting brook

The contractor admitted causing pollution at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court yesterday following a prosecution by the Environment Agency.

Winvic was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £25,577.79.

The court was told that the company were contractors at the site near Kegworth when Hemington Brook became highly turbid and discoloured with clay solids.

A biological survey revealed that the discharge of contaminated run off from the site had caused “gross and chronic” pollution adversely affecting invertebrates.

A member of the public alerted the Environment Agency when the brook started “running red with silt pollution” on or before 27 September 2019.

The source was traced to an outfall near the development site which was the responsibility of the company.

Staff told officers from the Environment Agency that a drain blocker had failed. This had allowed the contaminated contents of two ponds to drain and discharge into the brook via a flood attenuation basin.

Officers from the Environment Agency attended the site again on September 30 2019, and found that the discharge had not been stopped.

The Court accepted that the offence was due in part to unprecedented rainfall in the local area.

Ian Firkins, senior environment manager for the Environment Agency’s East Midlands Area, said: “We welcome this sentence which should act as a deterrent to other companies who breach environmental legislation.

“As a regulator, the Environment Agency will not hesitate to pursue companies that fail to meet its obligations to the environment.”