Concerns raised over smells at south Shropshire farm

Concerns over offensive smells and increased traffic have been raised over plans to expand the amount of waste processed at a south Shropshire farm.

Withypool Farm, in Cleobury Mortimer, is planning to expand its maximum digester operations from 17,000 to 22,000 tonnes per year.

But at a meeting of Cleobury Mortimer Town Council, people who live near the site said the smells and noise effects residents in the area so much that they have to keep their windows shut and stay indoors.

The Anaerobic Digester at Withypool Farm, Hollywaste, near Cleobury Mortimer, was originally granted planning permission in August 2015 but residents said they were not made aware of this at the time.

Gilbert Carter, a resident who lives near the farm in Hollywaste, said that increased gas emissions could be affecting people’s health.

“Frequent strong offensive odours emanate from the site to our homes just over 500 metres away,” he said.

“Often the smell is so overwhelming that we have to keep windows closed, bring in washing and stay indoors. All of us have experienced sore throats and headaches at times when the smell is intense.

“Another major concern is the spreading of digestate on fields around our homes as sometimes the waste is not ploughed into the ground which means the smell lingers for days and sometimes weeks.”

Mr Carter said there was constant operational noise which could be heard all hours of the day even with windows closed, as well as noise from large lorries using the country lanes to get to the site.

Cleobury Mortimer Town Councillors said they were concerned about the public health issues and wanted to see the environmental health report.

Neil Tysall, Cleobury Mortimer Town Councillor, said: “It seems there are some quite serious health issues. We should know what the results of the reports are before we make decisions.”

Withypool Farm declined to comment.

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