£27,000 charges for pollution offence

A poultry processing company has been hit with a heavy fine for pollution offences.

Paul Flatman of Colchester admitted breaching the Water Resources Act  during a hearing before Harlow magistrates.

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.