Barratt fined for sewage offence

Barratt Manchester, a subsidiary of the Barratt Homes Group, was fined £9,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,129 after breaching its consent to discharge sewage effluent into a tributary of the river Darwen.

Blackburn magistrates heard how Barratt's pumping station at Feniscowles Bridge had broken down in May 1999, polluting a kilometre of the stream. The company had failed to fit a telemetric alarm at the unmanned site to warn of problems, contrary to conditions in its discharge consent. Records also showed no evidence of routine checking of the site and maintenance appeared to be only reactive.

On 3 September, Barratt pleaded guilty to breaching conditions of its discharge consent, contrary to section 85(6) of the 1991 Act. It was fined and ordered to pay costs of £2,129.

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