Villagers demand waste plans rethink over 'noxious smells'

Fertiliser being spread on a Norfolk field. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Fertiliser being spread on a Norfolk field. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

A bid to store eco-fertiliser at a south Norfolk site has angered those living nearby, who have complained of months of “noxious smells”. 

Around 40 people have complained about plans submitted by White Recycling to store waste at the three Seething lagoons on Upgate Road.  

The company has already been using the site for two years and is now seeking retrospective permission from Norfolk County Council. 

The three Seething Lagoons planned for eco waste storage

The Seething Lagoons on Upgate Road - Credit: Google Maps

If permission is granted Whites will store organic liquid food waste for use as a substitute for fertilisers on local farms. 

Residents have raised three main concerns: Odour from the site, types of waste and whether the site is in a site of special scientific interest (SSSI).

Responding to the consultation, resident Phil Garnham complained that the site had been producing “noxious smells" and said the smell in summer was "absolutely grotesque".

Seething Parish Council also called for the application to be rejected, and said: “Foul odour caused by this storage operation, which has already been happening for some two years or more without planning approval, is a serious issue to residents. 

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“Contrary to the planning application statement - we are aware that there have been numerous complaints of unpleasant odour made to the Environment Agency (EA).” 

Speaking on behalf of Whites, Chris O’Donoghue insisted the company had not received many complaints and said the firm will be using an odour management plan agreed with the EA. 

He said in his experience in dealing with the odour complaints received, many related to smells from farmland.

Mr O’Donoghue insisted the site was not in an SSSI - with the Hedenham Wood SSSI 1.4km away. 

County Hall in Norwich

Responses to the application are open until March 8 - Credit: Archant Norfolk

While residents expressed concern about the permit allowing for waste from solvent extraction and chemical treatment, Mr O’Donoghue said this was due to the type of permit. 

 “We do not as a business handle these types of waste,” he said. 

“The only type of waste that we handle is organic waste that is suitable, as evidenced by independent laboratory analysis, of being applied to agricultural land as a replacement for commercially produced fertiliser.  

“I would also repeat that human waste will not be stored in the lagoons.” 

The full application can be viewed on the council’s planning website, application reference: FUL/2019/003.  

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