Bovis Homes pollution costs company over £15,000

Environment Agency News Release

Major national construction company, Bovis Homes, was fined £14,000 and ordered to pay costs of a further £1170 at Southampton Magistrates Court today (Wednesday 12 September, 2007). The company was prosecuted by the Environment Agency after turning the Moorgreen stream orange by pumping  dirty water from the construction site at the Dowds Farm Development in November 2006.

Before the incident, Bovis Homes had a meeting with the Environment Agency and agreed pollution prevention measures to prevent harm coming to the stream. These measures included setting up straw bales to act as a filter for water leaving  the site. When the Environment Agency received a report that the stream had turned orange and visited the site to investigate, environment officers discovered that water was deliberately being pumped around the straw bales, through the site fence and into a woodland ditch that fed straight into the Moorgreen Stream. The Moorgreen Stream, in turn, flows into the River Hamble, which is a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) and a special conservation area (SAC).

Gareth Bates, Team Leader for the Environment Agency said:

“Bovis Homes is a large national company that should be well aware of its environmental responsibilities. It is completely unacceptable that a company of this size, which had already come to us for specific advice on managing the environmental impact of this development, would then bypass the very measures they had put in place to protect the environment and cause this level of environmental harm.

“We are pleased with the level of fine. It shows that the court takes this sort of environmental damage very seriously. It also sends a very clear message to other construction companies that they must take care of the environment when they are going about their business. There is no excuse for harming our environment.”

The court acknowledged the early guilty plea and that there was limited long term environmental damage but said that Bovis Homes has a duty of care to the environment.