Ribchester garden centre director fined over sewage polluting Stydd Brook tributary

The tributary
The tributary

Sewage from the cafe of a well known garden centre polluted the local watercourse, a court has heard.

Environment Agency chiefs found waste in a tributary of Stydd Brook in Ribchester had been caused by an overloaded package sewage treatment system at nearby Stydd Gardens, which provided little or no wastewater treatment.

Stydd Gardens

Stydd Gardens

Blackburn magistrates were told sewage from the café, nursery and several retail huts went into the treatment plant, and was then discharged, without a permit, to an open ditch at the back of the site, causing pollution in the watercourse.

Despite the Environment Agency offering advice on numerous occasions - and the serving of an Anti-Pollution Works Notice - the situation continued and on May 16, 2018, the Environment Agency had to carry out works to prevent further pollution.

READ MORE: A mountain of waste picked from River Ribble banks

On 4 June 2018 the site installed a new drainage system and connection to foul sewer.

Director of the cafe, Stephen Fullalove, of Stoneygate Lane, Ribchester, has pleaded guilty to three offences of causing a water discharge activity at Stydd Gardens.

He also pleaded guilty to an offence of failing to comply with a works notice served by the Agency.

He was fined a total of £3,550 and ordered to pay costs of £6,000 and a victim surcharge of £125.

John Neville, Area Environment Manager, said: “This offending occurred over an extended period of time and without any interim measures being put in place to prevent the pollution while the permanent solution was sought.

"This case demonstrates how seriously the Environment Agency considers water pollution offences and that we will take action against individuals and businesses who cause such pollution.

“The Environment Agency will persist with individuals who continue to ignore our advice as pollution incidents can cause distress to local communities, reduce water quality and spoil ecosystems. We would urge anyone who notices pollution to land or water to call our hotline on 0800 80 70 60.”

Environmental incidents can be reported to the Environment Agency 24/7 on 0800 807060 while waste crime can also be reported anonymously via Crimestoppers online or on 0800 555111.