What's that smell?

A composting plant has denied it is the source of a foul stench which villagers in south Norfolk say is ruining their summer.Residents in Carleton Rode, near Attleborough, have complained that a putrid pong is causing them to close their windows and doors, scuppering barbecue plans and even waking them up at night.

A COMPOSTING plant has denied it is the source of a foul stench which villagers in south Norfolk say is ruining their summer.

Residents in Carleton Rode, near Attleborough, have complained that a putrid pong is causing them to close their windows and doors, scuppering barbecue plans and even waking them up at night.

They believe the offensive odour is coming from a nearby composting plant, owned by the TEG Group, which processes organic waste. But the company has put the stench down to surrounding agricultural activity.

Barbara Slater, who lives less than a mile from the site off Abbey Road, said the smell had been a reoccurring problem since the plant became operational in 2007, but had recently increased in potency.


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She said it covers the whole of Carleton Rode and has spread as far as Bunwell and Black Carr, affecting about 300 homes.

'When it first started up it smelled like something had died in the corner. It's got a sharp chemical tinge to it,' she said.

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'It's very pervasive - it gets in your throat and sticks there and people have complained they can smell it on them. It's very unpleasant. It completely contravenes our lives.'

She added: 'It may not be true of all the complaints, and at this time of year things are spread on the land, but certainly every complaint I make and people who are nearby know those smells are from the site. They are not agricultural.'

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said an inspector has visited the area this week to assess the smell and was currently compiling a report into whether a non-compliance notice regarding odour should be issued to the TEG Group.

The company took over the plant a year ago which was formerly run by Attleborough-based firm Banham Poultry.

A spokesman for the TEG Group said the firm was aware of residents' complaints but the source of the stench was not the compost plant.

He said: 'We are aware that there have been odour issues in the vicinity of our Carleton Rode site and that recently there have been some quite offensive odours, which have been described as 'a foul stench of poultry manure' and 'a putrefied sea sludge' smell. 'However, we believe that these are due to agricultural activities in the local area and not attributable to TEG, although we recognise that some local residents feel our Carleton Rode site is the source of the odour.

'We are fully aware of the history of the facility prior to our acquisition but since we took over the facility a year ago we have made substantial investments in odour control, including the installation of a new bio filter. We are in the final stages of the improvement works to optimise the bio filter and to improve performance further.

'TEG takes its responsibilities to the community very seriously and our compliance manager is in direct contact with local residents to keep them informed of the activities on site and to reassure them that the odours causing distress are not from our plant.'

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