Villagers are kicking up a stink after a compost operator moved its operations outside – creating widespread odours.
Householders in Everton, Tempsford and further afield have objected to a retrospective planning application for the Hangar in Everton.
But Central Beds Council’s development management committee recommended the application for approval – with conditions – at a meeting on Wednesday.
The site’s current operators have been doing some of their composting outside, creating unpleasant smells which have spread around the two villages.
The firm carries out in-vessel composting, where waste is composted within a building, container or a vessel.
Les Alexander, who lives in Everton and has started a petition which has attracted 80 signatures said: “When the site was first established it was subject to a planning application which was approved by the former Beds County Council back in 2008.
“Since then there have been several different operators and the last two have moved some of the composting outside. The latest applied for retrospective planning application to do so.”
He added: “Under the conditions of the recommended approval the operators now have 12 months to find a way of stopping the odours, whether that means constructing a new building for composting or finding another way.”
Central Beds ward councillor for Everton and Tempsford Adam Zerny is backing villagers.
He said: “Residents have been troubled by the stench from this site for far too long.
“I am disappointed the committee did not listen to the valid concerns raised by so many people”
But Councillor Alan Shadbolt, vice chairman of the development management committee said: “We based our decisions on the relevant planning considerations that we had in front of us.
“We appreciated the time that residents took to come and speak at the committee and we would urge everyone to report offensive smells to us and the Environment Agency if they feel there is a problem.”
He added: “As of now, there were no substantiated claims about smells coming from the site and when we visited, we were thoroughly impressed with the systems in place there to minimise this.
“The company has also said that they would be happy to work with the community.”
Les will be arranging a public meeting to discuss the problem, and also the possibility of setting up a new liaison group. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org