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Neighbours of factory blamed for 'rotting flesh smell' in homes reduced to tears at meeting

PUBLISHED: 18:34 03 February 2019 | UPDATED: 13:54 05 February 2019

Nearly 50 people attended the meeting in Connaught Hall on Saturday (February 2, 2019) discussing a solution to the Banham Poultry factory odour. Photo: Bethany Wales

Nearly 50 people attended the meeting in Connaught Hall on Saturday (February 2, 2019) discussing a solution to the Banham Poultry factory odour. Photo: Bethany Wales

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Neighbours of a factory which recently apologised for flooding near homes which caused a "rotting flesh smell" were visibly upset as they voiced their frustration at a public meeting on Saturday.

County Councillor Rhodri Oliver chaired the meeting in Connaught Hall on Saturday (February 2, 2019) discussing a solution to the Banham Poultry factory odour. Photo: Bethany WalesCounty Councillor Rhodri Oliver chaired the meeting in Connaught Hall on Saturday (February 2, 2019) discussing a solution to the Banham Poultry factory odour. Photo: Bethany Wales

Nearly 50 people attended the meeting at Connaught Hall, Attleborough, to raise concerns about odour and noise problems from the Banham Poultry processing plant on Station Road.

The meeting was chaired by county councillor Rhodri Oliver, who vowed to take the issue to leader of Breckland Council, William Nunn.

Among the claims made were lorries spilling foul-smelling waste on pavements, an increase in rats in the town and alarms being set off in the factory in the early hours of the morning.

One woman, who lives on Blenheim Drive, was reduced to tears as she told the room her sleep had been seriously affected by “constant noise” coming from the plant and that her health was suffering as a result.

Banham Poultry in Attleborough. Picture Simon Parkin.Banham Poultry in Attleborough. Picture Simon Parkin.

She said: “The noise has got significantly worse since before Christmas and I’ve been made to feel isolated by the Environment Agency when I’ve tried to report the problem.

“It’s a low rumbling noise that gets worse and worse as the night goes on and without the support of my neighbours I don’t think I would have got through this.”

Mr Oliver said the problem was the joint responsibility of Breckland Council and the Environment Agency but that he believed there had been complacency in finding a solution.

He said: “We’re putting this issue solidly back onto the council’s agenda and the situation is very much live again.

“It does not matter what the company claims to contribute to the local community and creating jobs is no excuse for inflicting immeasurable suffering.”

He added he was hopeful that now the new owners would make money available to invest in fixing ongoing issues.

No Banham Poultry representative attended the meeting, but a letter from a spokesperson said the factory apologised for the recent issues and said an equipment failure was to blame.

They added: “My team and I are looking to putting an improved preventative action plan in place to ensure this problem does not reoccur.”

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said they were aware of a number of complaints regarding the Banham Poultry site and would continue to identify and address the odour issues to keep impact of the local community at a minimum.

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