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‘Case closed’ on smells

Posted on October 31 2016 at 10:57:07

County odour officers have decided to take no action after an investigation into reports of smells at a Hopwood animal waste operation.

And now a district councillor is urging the halving of council tax for residents he says are affected by smells and noise from the site.

In the latest chapter of protests about operations at Mayfield Farm, Worcester Regulatory Services (WRS) had been prompted by residents’ complaints to carry out monitoring of smells from the movement and sorting of animal parts.

Writing to residents with the results, the lead environmental health officer, Helen Groves, said: “We do not have enough evidence to take further action at this time regarding alleged odour nuisance from Mayfield Farm; and the case will be closed.”

She suggested that if residents wanted to take it further, they could start a private action, explaining: “You are able to take your own legal action under Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 as an alternative way of trying to resolve this issue.

“Advice on these matters can be obtained from the local Citizens’ Advice Bureau.”

Coun Charles Hotham, the Broms-grove district councillor for Barnt Green and Hopwood, told Alvechurch Parish Council: “I am very disappointed, although not surprised, that WRS are not taking this further.

“They should be taking it further and they should be taking some action.”

Coun Hotham said he had put together a letter to the chief executive of Bromsgrove District Council, Kevin Dicks, who was ultimately responsible for the work of WRS, pointing out they had let down the residents of Hopwood.

“I have asked Mr Dicks for a 50 per cent reduction in the council tax for the people affected by the smell.

“I wouldn’t hold your breath – but I guess you are used to that!” he added.

WRS told residents officers completed two weeks of odour monitoring in the Hopwood area from September 12 to 25 inclusive, with 15 officers making 23 separate monitoring visits at 92 locations at various times of the morning, afternoon and evening based on intelligence from previous complaints from residents.

“The outcome of the monitoring exercise was that a moderate/strong odour was witnessed on two occasions but on only one occasion was the odour witnessed at a resident’s property that could be considered to be a statutory nuisance,” said officers.

But Coun Hotham told parish councillors he had analysed the report, and “for 44.7 per cent of their visits they detected some form of odour. For 4.25 per cent of the time they were there the smell was deemed by them to be a statutory nuisance.

“That equals one hour a day. How can that be deemed to be acceptable?” he asked.

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