Bellway dumped imported contaminated soil on its housing site

Bellway Homes imported 2,688 cubic metres of contaminated waste soil onto its St Mary’s Park housing site near Stannington in late 2017.

The waste soil – containing wood, metal, wire cables, rubber, plastic and vehicle tyres – came from another one of its developments at nearby Five Mile Park.

Bellway said the waste soil was shipped in to build a soil bund around an attenuation pond at Srt Mary’s Park.

In February 2019, an Environment Agency officer attended the site after receiving a report of illegal waste activity.

An enforcement notice was subsequently issued requiring the waste to be removed from the pond area to a permitted waste facility for disposal during July and August 2020.

Bellway Homes committed to an Enforcement Undertaking that will see it improve awareness of the law in relation to soils and waste and review its protocols to prevent future issues.

As part of the voluntary offer made by companies and individuals to make amends for their offending, iaket will m a donation to an environmental charity to carry out improvements in the local area.

Bellway Homes will pay £50,000 to Northumberland Wildlife Trust, £30,000 to Wear Rivers Trust and £20,000 to Tyne Rivers Trust.

Andrew Turner, area environment manager for the Environment Agency in the North East, said: “Despite being a large and experienced house builder Bellway claimed it followed the advice of a consultancy which said it was appropriate to import the contaminated soil.

“We know the waste material being left on site for such a long period of time caused distress to local residents and this has since been cleared.

He added: “While we will always take forward prosecutions in the most serious cases, Enforcement Undertakings are an effective enforcement tool to allow companies to put things right and contribute to environmental improvements. It also supports the prevention of repeat incidents by companies improving their procedures to ensure future compliance with environmental requirements.”

 

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