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Water pollution files given to prosecutors

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EVIDENCE files have been passed to prosecutors following a five-month investigation into alleged pollution at a major Waterfront development, it has emerged.

Photo: John Baker. (25257975)

One person has been interviewed under caution by investigators within the Environment Department in connection with alleged water pollution at the Horizon development – a Jersey Development Company project. The JDC is a States-owned company.

Work on the site is being carried out by Groupe Legendre, a major French construction, real estate and energy group.

Senior officials within the Law Officers’ Department – Jersey’s equivalent to the Crown Prosecution Service – will now decide whether to charge the suspect with offences under the Water Pollution (Jersey) Law.

In February, environmental campaigners raised the alarm that water was flooding into the ground works of the site – where 280 apartments are being built – at high tides and then, allegedly, washing out to sea untreated.

Environment Minister John Young has voiced his concerns on the matter.

Now Tim du Feu, director of Environmental Protection, said a ‘comprehensive file’ had been submitted to the LOD on Monday.

Mr du Feu said: ‘The potential pollution incident at the Horizon development was reported to Environmental Protection on 21 February 2019.

‘Given the public and media interest, the investigation was prioritised over existing environmental protection work. Up to five officers contributed and collected evidence and this consumed into the hundreds of hours of officer time. The investigation needed to address a number of complex areas, hence the time taken. I am completely satisfied that a comprehensive file has been submitted to the law officers to enable them to fully consider the relevant evidential and public interest tests.

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‘I am also satisfied that no public disclosure of any details of the investigation has taken place that might affect the integrity of any subsequent court hearing, should there be one. I understand that this has been difficult for some people, but it is a necessary legal process.’

In a statement, a spokesman for Groupe Legendre said they were unable to comment due to the ongoing investigation.

According to the JDC’s website 87% of the Horizon East block has been sold, along with 73% of Horizon South and 57% of Horizon West. Apartments left for sale range in price from £300,000 to £1.5 million.

Jack Maguire

By Jack Maguire
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