Northamptonshire company ordered to pay over £20,000 after polluting village air

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A business in Helmdon, Northamptonshire, has been ordered to pay £22,218 in fines, costs and compensation after it admitted breaching an official notice demanding it stops fumes from its biomass boiler being a nuisance.

At Northampton Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, 18 September 2018, A W Duncombe & Son Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching an Abatement Notice served by South Northamptonshire Council (SNC) under section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

The business was ordered to pay a £12,000 fine, £4,218 costs and £1,000 compensation to each of the six people who complained about the pollution.

Cllr Dermot Bambridge, SNC’s portfolio holder for Environmental Services, said: “There’s nothing more important than the air we breathe and while legal action is always a last resort we had no option but to take firm action in this case.”

At the beginning of November 2017 the SNC Environmental Protection Team received allegations of smoke and odours coming from the biomass boiler at 2 Field Way in Helmdon.

Following an investigation the Abatement Notice was served prohibiting further nuisance after Friday, 8 December 2017.

More complaints were made after that date and once members of the Environmental Protection Team carried out further tests in the area they were satisfied the Abatement Notice was being breached and a prosecution case was prepared.