Kathryn Gilbertson

+44 (0)1733 887621 kgilbertson@greenwoodsgrm.co.uk

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Country House Hotel prosecuted for sewage treatment plant error

Regulatory / 04 May 2020

Thoresby Hall Hotel in Ollerton, near Newark, has been convicted after discharging partially treated sewage effluent into the River Meden.  The hotel is not connected to the mains drainage system. So it operates its own sewage treatment plant under an environmental permit issued by the Environment Agency (EA).

The permit controls the quantity and quality of treated wastewater allowed to be discharged into the river.  The treatment plant was permitted to discharge up to 141 cubic metres of treated sewage effluent per day, but strict limits had been placed to ensure that any discharge had a low biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), low ammonia levels and minimal suspended solids.

Bourne Leisure Ltd, which owns the hotel, was fined £90,000, and ordered to pay £44,518.96 towards prosecution costs and a £170 victim surcharge.  For further information see the EA’s press release here .


The incident

An EA officer spotted a milky cloud of pollution in the river.  This was found to be coming from the Thoresby Hall Hotel sewage treatment works.  Investigations, including water samples (taken by the Environment Agency) and the hotels’ own records, showed that discharge permit conditions had been breached numerous times in a two-and-a-half-year period.

Permit holders of sewage treatment plants must have robust management systems in place to ensure compliance.   Don’t wait for the EA to alert you to a problem.  Get in touch.  We can help you understand your liabilities and what to do to ensure compliance, which could include seeking to vary the permit conditions.


The Regulatory team, spearheaded by Kathryn Gilbertson (Partner and Head of Regulatory), advises national companies, property developers, SMEs and private individuals on environmental compliance matters. If you would like to discuss any issues raised in this update, please do get in touch.

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