Furious residents demand action over stench coming from recycling site

Residents and councillors are demanding action is taken against the site
Residents and councillors are demanding action is taken against the site

Angry residents in the borough are demanding action over the noxious smells regularly wafting over their homes from a recycling site.

The Environment Agency (EA) has been bombarded with complaints from residents in the Lowton, Leigh and Pennington areas about nasty aromas from Diggle Farm, just over the border in Culcheth.

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And the calls for action are growing after one fed-up resident submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) Act request for the EA’s reports, which shows there have been problems and breaches of conditions at the site.

Residents and community groups have spoken of the toll the issue is taking while ward councillors said moves are afoot to resolve the situation.

Ed Thwaite, chair of Lowton East Neighbourhood Development Forum (Lendf), said: “Hundreds of complaints have gone in to the EA. They say they are monitoring it but it doesn’t improve.

“People can’t open their windows in summer and can’t go into the garden for a barbecue, which is a poor show.

“Everyone is absolutely fed up with it.

“It gets brought up at every meeting. Something has got to be done.”

Dave Gentle, who lives on Oaklands Road, said: “This year it has regularly been bad, it’s unbelievable.

“It smells like compost, it’s a bit sweet. It’s revolting. I went to the farm to check it out and it affected my breathing for hours.

“The Environmental Protection Act 1990 gives power to shut down nuisances at source until they are fixed. I would like to see this imposed.”

Coun James Grundy for Lowton East ward said: “As councillors we have arranged a multi-agency meeting to see what enforcement action will be taken next.

“We regularly receive complaints about this and we are trying to ensure this issue is resolved as quickly as possible.”

However, those hoping for rapid and far-reaching action could be disappointed.

An EA spokesperson said: “The Environment Agency is aware of odour complaints which residents believe are associated with a composting site near Leigh. We continue to investigate the site and will be updating residents through an odour monitoring report and newsletter by the end of the month.”

Ring 0800 80 70 60 to report environmental issues.