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Building giant hit with huge fine for polluting River Gavenny

06 Apr 2022 2 minute read
Willow Court in Abergavenny. Photo via Google

Persimmon Homes has been fined over £400,000 after pleading guilty to multiple pollution incidents on the River Gavenny in Monmouthshire in 2019.

The company was fined a total of £433,331 at Newport Magistrates Court on Tuesday for breaches in Environmental Permitting Regulations

A total of seven pollution offences, caused by illegal water discharge activities occurred at the Willow Court development in Abergavenny between 11 February and 11 November 2019.

An additional offence also occurred on 2 February 2021.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) confirmed the pollution was caused by water run-off from the site, which had been contaminated with silt.

Despite discussing measures to reduce the risk of pollution in March 2019, preventative measures on the site were not fully implemented.

Persimmon Homes was fined £53,000 per offence and ordered to pay NRW costs of £9161 and a victim surcharge of £170.


A spokesperson for Persimmon Homes East Wales said told Construction Enquirere: “We would like to sincerely apologise for these incidents which occurred some years ago in Abergavenny.

“While we are relieved that there has been no material harm caused to the local environment, and it has been acknowledged that they were not deliberate acts, we fully understand their potential significance.

“These incidents should not have happened and we have made a number of changes to local personnel and procedures in South East Wales to improve the on-site implementation of appropriate preventative measures.

“As a company we take our environmental responsibilities very seriously and express our deep regret that these incidents took place.”

Anthony Bruten, Environment Officer for Natural Resources Wales said: “The construction industry has a duty of care to the communities in which they operate, to ensure the correct controls and safeguards are in place in order to prevent incidents such as these occurring.

“In this case, Persimmon Homes’ failure to put in place suitable mitigation methods meant that silt run off from the site continued to negatively impact the nearby water courses and the River Gavenny over a period of 10 months.

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Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
2 years ago

Given that Persimmon ceased building in Wales until their profit margins went back above 30% and the cheapest house of the hundreds built here would realise them £84K, I don’t think they are too fussed.
It may be a huge fine for thee and me but for them it is the cost of doing business and probably cheaper than solving the problems as they occurred.
In context the fine is less than 1% of the CEO bonus.

Last edited 2 years ago by Kerry Davies
2 years ago

The River Gavenny? Should this read Afon Gafeni? Anyone for Cymru or living in Cymru should not need this anglicised

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