Dozens of complaints over chicken farm smell

Residents living close to a poultry farm say more than 80 complaints have been made about serious odour nuisance from the unit.

Those living in the Tyrley and Sutton upon Tern area said that odour nuisance occurs with unacceptable frequency.

They say both Shropshire Council and the Environment Agency have ignored the environment issue of air quality for too long.

Resident Mr Malcolm Carter said the Hollins Lane Poultry Unit had been operating intensive chicken farming for more than four years.

"On behalf of myself and immediate neighbours we have submitted numerous reports of serious odour nuisance which now total over 80 complaints to the Environment Agency," he said.

The latest problem was on Monday, April 19, when a slow breeze from the south wafted directly from Hollins Lane Poultry Unit the 460 metres to homes in Tyrley.

"Between the hours of 10am and 4pm our properties were blighted for many hours by intermittent putrid poultry odour and ammonia."

The existing 235,000 bird unit has an Environment Agency permit which allows the operation to go ahead.

The agency said that the operations are in compliance with section '3.3' of its EA permit.

Weather data

But Mr Carter said this relied on weather data from Shawbury, over 10 miles away, to model odour and ammonia levels and said that was a long distance to base such a model on.

"This odorous site adversely impacts our community and residents have legitimate concerns about health impacts associated with airborne pathogens, particulates, ammonia and micro-organism pollutants discharged alongside the reported odours," he said.

"Air quality is a major environmental issue that Shropshire Council and the Environment Agency have ignored for too long."

He said he was also concerned about the particles released from a biomass plant that ran the heating for the poultry unit.

"Shropshire Council planners should consider the 'in combination' localised effects on human health from biomass pm2.5 particles and ammonia pollution produced by this site."

"Our immediate locality at Tyrley and Sutton on Tern is now blighted by odour, ammonia, and biomass particulate matter.

"No consideration has been made by Shropshire Council planners or the EA that Tyrley is already subject to extremely high ammonia levels emitted from Tyrley Cattle Sheds 'In Combination' with numerous other intensive cattle farming operations within a five kilometre radius either side of the immediate Shropshire Staffordshire border. Shropshire Council and the EA should also consider how hundreds of tonnes of poultry and cattle manure sitting uncovered in local Tyrley fields for months on end add to the local ammonia pollution."

Council

He said residents were very concerned over a current application to double the size and poultry capacity to 470,000 birds.

"Doubling the volume of noxious odour/ammonia pollution discharged which would cause a correspondingly increase in nuisance," he said.

The application to increase the size of the unit has still to be decided by Shropshire Council.

Kelvin Hall, Shropshire Council’s principal planning officer, said: “Mr Carter’s email is primarily directed at the Environment Agency (EA). The poultry unit operates under an Environmental Permit issued by the EA, who are the primary regulator of emissions including odour from the premises. I am aware that the EA have previously investigated odour issues at the site.

“Shropshire Council’s regulatory services team have contacted Mr Carter on three occasions following his comments on the planning portal. They have asked if he would like us to investigate any alleged nuisance. On all of these occasions, the response has been that no investigation is currently required as it is being followed up with the EA. We recorded one complaint following the contact made with the planning service and followed up. Mr Carter withdrew the complaint.

“As such, there are no active complaints. Mr Carter has our details from past concerns on other land, and has not made contact with us directly, and neither has anyone else living in the vicinity.”

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