Pollution fine slapped on games company

A computer game company with a £60 million turnover has landed a £25,000 for failing to sort out polluting sewage discharges despite repeated warnings.

Codemasters Software Company Ltd, one of the UK's largest games designers, received the fine for polluting a brook with treated sewage time and time again.

The case followed an extensive investigation by the Environment Agency which had sent the company warning letters insisting it cleaned up its act.

The company faced two charge of causing polluting matter to enter controlled waters, in this case a tributary of the River Itchen that flowed past its offices in Storeythorpe, Southam.

While the company has a licence to discharge properly treated sewage into the stream it consistently breached the quality and levels agreed in its consent.

Codemasters pleaded guilty to both charges at Leamington Spa magistrates court, in mitigation claiming it had been making efforts to address the problem but had been let down by two specialist companies which were no longer in business, leaving no redress.

Hannah Wooldridge, a EA officer involved in the investigation, said: "Consents to discharge are legal documents carefully drafted to allow companies or individuals to discharge treated effluent to watercourses at levels that will not threaten the general quality of the water environment.

"In this case, despite our efforts to advise and assist the company, there were repeated breaches of consent limits which were wholly unacceptable.

Codemasters Software Company Ltd pleaded guilty at Leamington Spa Magistrates Court to two charges of causing polluting matter to enter controlled waters, in this instance a tributary of the River Itchen.

As well as the fine the multi-million pound company was ordered to pay costs of £2,346.

By Sam Bond



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