freeline-29 - Page 13



Shockleader
Yorkshire Water pays compensation
for catastrophic lake pollution
Yorkshire Water has agreed to pay
Walton Angling Club £20,000 in compensation six years after the utility
giant caused a catastrophic pollution.
In October 2013, a pipe rupture
resulted in large quantities of raw
sewage entering Walton Colliery Lake
near Wakefield, killing the fish and all
other aquatic life. Yorkshire Water
were prosecuted by the Environment
Agency and fined £600,000 at Leeds
Crown Court in 2016.
The court found that the fish stocks
had been “effectively wiped out” and
that the lake could take many years to
recover. Subsequent efforts to restock
the lake by Yorkshire Water have been
largely unsuccessful. A compensation
claim was made by Fish Legal on
behalf of Walton Angling Club following the criminal case. Despite the
club not being able to fish what had
previously been their most popular
lake, Yorkshire Water at first challenged it.
After protracted negotiations the
utility, who made operating profits of
£263. 9m last year, finally agreed to
pay the claim before court proceedings were issued. Les Gray, Secretary
of Walton Angling Club, said: “It has
been a long saga to get some kind of
justice for the club for the five-year
loss of one of our best waters. This
was complicated by the unsuccessful
restocking attempt by Yorkshire
Water before the lake had
sufficiently recovered
from the 2013 sewage
spill.
”He added: “However,
we are very grateful for
the dogged determination of Fish Legal and our
expert BFJ to set the
record straight and
obtain substantial compensation towards the
club’s losses. ”Andrew
Kelton, Solicitor for Fish
Legal, commented: “This
case was unusual.
Although liability was
straightforward as Yorkshire Water had pleaded
guilty in the criminal
court, actually obtaining an adequate
level of compensation was complicated by the 2016 re-stocking which
we effectively needed to prove had
been unsuccessful. Nevertheless, we
are happy that the club’s long wait for
resolution of this issue has ultimately
been worthwhile. n
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Closing date is
1st June 2020.
Good luck!





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