Discount retailer Poundstretcher has been handed a £200,000 fine for health and safety offences. Inspectors found a number of breaches at the chains Newhaven branch, including a dangerously over-stocked storeroom and blocked gangways.

Other offences related to poor management practices at the premises in the High Street in Newhaven. The company, which has 400 stores and 6,000 staff nationwide, was also prosecuted by West Berkshire Council and Swindon Borough Council for similar offences.

In total, the Poundstretcher Group was fined one million pounds for twenty four different offences, plus legal costs for the three councils. Councillor Isabelle Linington, cabinet member for environmental impact at Lewes District Council, said: “Protecting residents by ensuring all businesses comply with health and safety law is essential. Good health and safety practices save lives and this council will not hesitate to take enforcement action when businesses play fast and loose with the welfare of their staff and customers.

Ed Hele, functional lead for quality environment at Lewes District Council, said: “When businesses operate in a manner that places staff and the public at risk, we have to act. We work hard to give businesses in the Lewes district the information they need to comply with health and safety requirements, but when the advice and direction is ignored we have to take action.