Miller Homes was fined £100,000 on 19 May 2016 for water
pollution offences. The offence involved the unauthorised discharge
of water containing silt and sediment from a housing development
site into a nearby watercourse. A contractor working for Miller
Homes, Flannery Civil Engineering Ltd, was also fined for its
involvement in the incident.
The incident occurred at Lindley Park, Huddersfield, in November
2013. Miller Homes contracted with Flannery for the construction of
four storage lagoons to reduce the risk of flooding downstream.
During construction of the lagoons, straw bales were used on the
outflow of the lower lagoon to prevent silt from leaving the site.
However, the bales were removed following heavy rain, when the
lower lagoon became full of water. By removing the bales, Flannery
allowed the silt water to run directly into a nearby watercourse
that runs into Grimescar Dyke. Upon inspection, the Environment
Agency found that the watercourse had turned a dark brown
Silt and sediment can have a significant impact on the overall
water quality, decreasing clarity, reducing plant growth,
blanketing spawning grounds and harming invertebrates leading to
significant environmental damage. Long-term sedimentation also
increases the risk of flooding potentially causing damage to third
Miller Homes admitted the offence and, as well as the
£100,000 fine, was also ordered to pay £2,415.03 in
In recent years, the courts have shown that they are more
willing to hand out higher fines and order custodial sentences.
Fines for environmental prosecutions are likely to continue to
To discuss environmental offences and sentencing issues, contact
those listed on the right.
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