A poultry processing company has been hit with a heavy fine for pollution offences.
A fine of £20,000 with £7700 costs was imposed.
The court heard from Environment Agency inspectors that the company had received warnings over a two-year period about the levels of effluent going into the river which was causing a serious pollution problem.
Prosecutor Claire Bentley told the court: “There appears to have been a lack of focus in the management of the site.”
In mitigation, it was said that the company did have a permit to discharge, but admitted that the levels had been exceeded.
After the hearing an Environment Agency spokesman commented: “Discharge consent permits are used to protect the environment. When the permit limits are not complied with the aquatic environment is put at risk.”
In business for almost 50 years, Paul Flatman processes up to 90,000 birds a week and employs 40 staff.