Anger over river pollution from construction site

Shards of polystyrene in the River Wensum from the Hill Ltd St James Quay building site

Shards of polystyrene in the River Wensum from the St James Quay building site - Credit: Submitted

A construction company has said it has taken action after residents raised concerns over river pollution as a result of their work. 

Those living at St James Meadow were forced to pull what was described as a "substantial amount" of polystyrene shards from the River Wensum near to Cow Tower in Norwich. 

The pollution was coming from the St James' Quay construction site on Barrack Street which Hill Ltd is responsible for.

Residents raised concerns over polystyrene shards in the River Wensum near Cow Tower 

Residents raised concerns over polystyrene shards in the River Wensum near Cow Tower - Credit: Submitted

A spokesperson for Hill Ltd said: "We take issues of this nature very seriously. This occurred as a result of high winds and we have undertaken extensive litter picking along the River Wensum and increased monitoring of the site as a preventative measure.”

These comments come after a resident from St James Meadow said he had sent two emails to the company regarding the pollution, but had received no response to them. 

Hill Ltd have said the pollution from their construction site at St James’ Place was caused by winds

Hill Ltd have said the pollution from their construction site was caused by winds blowing the material into the river - Credit: Submitted


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He said: "The residents of St James Meadow have already pulled a substantial amount of sheeting from the river. We are adjacent to the Zaks restaurant.

"As you may be aware, the decay life of polystyrene in the ocean has been calculated to be hundreds of years." 

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Residents reported seeing a canoe being used to fish the polystyrene from the water this week. 

A shard of polystyrene from the St James' Quay construction site in Norwich 

A shard of polystyrene from the St James' Quay construction site in Norwich - Credit: Submitted

The construction work of 220 apartments and houses at St James Quay is expected to be completed at the end of November 2021, having begun in January 2020. 

The apartments will front on to the River Wensum, and the development will also include commercial and retail space, in addition to the refurbishment of two Grade II listed cottages and the relocation of the John Jarrold Printing Museum.

Developers say they will also accommodate the historic remains of the city wall. 

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