Smell from Corby composting site prompts fifty bank holiday complaints

The site near Priors Hall turns 30,000 tonnes of green waste into compost every year.
The site near Priors Hall turns 30,000 tonnes of green waste into compost every year.

The Environment Agency has stepped-in after it received fifty complaints about the smell and flies from a Corby composting plant around the August bank holiday weekend.

Fed-up residents living in Priors Hall, Corby's newest estate and eventually the location of 5,000 homes, say that the smell from the nearby site and the number of flies has increased to unacceptable levels this summer.

Residents have been complaining to the Environment Agency and to the firm that runs the site, TW Composting, for months. But over the most recent bank holiday weekend some local people told the Northants Telegraph they were unable to use their gardens because of the putrid smell.

One resident said: "We have bought a lovely new house on Priors Hall but we feel a bit cheated because the smell gets so bad, particularly at night.

"We understand the need for composting sites and support the one here but we do need to know that they are doing everything they can to mitigate the smell for people living close by."

The Environment Agency told our reporter that there had been 50 complaints over the bank holiday weekend and during the subsequent two days and that it was now considering an enforcement notice to ensure the operator adheres to the conditions of its permit.

The firm operates from just off Gretton Road, near to Kirby Hall and, each year, turns 30,000 tonnes of green waste that may have been sent to landfill into compost.

A TW Composting spokesman said that the firm valued its relationship with local residents but did not believe that all of the smell issues came from the site as it coincided with muck spreading on local fields. He added: "We have an ongoing liaison with the local community and speak to local residents on a very regular basis.

"We have done a lot of work since we acquired the site this year and the residents had been very happy.

"There have been recent complaints from residents and we'd had regular visits from the Environment Agency. A week ago the EA came on to the site and raised some issues with us and we took some remedial action.

"We have cleaned the site down and taken action and the EA are pleased with what we have done.

"We are in dialogue with the EA but we can only be responsible for what we are responsible for - at the same time as the complaints there was land spraying on the fields around the site.

"That said, we didn't argue with the EA and we did what they asked us to do. It's important that we have a good relationship with residents."

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “We received around 50 complaints regarding this site during, and for two days after, the August Bank Holiday weekend.

“We are presently considering an enforcement notice while working closely with the operator to ensure that the appropriate actions are taken to mitigate these issues for local residents.”