Residents’ fury at ‘broken promises’ of waste firm

ODOUR ANGER: Residents packed the meeting about the smells from Farington Waste Recovery Park
ODOUR ANGER: Residents packed the meeting about the smells from Farington Waste Recovery Park

Residents living next to a £320m waste recycling centre in Leyland have accused the firm running it of ‘broken promises’.

More than 70 people vented their anger about the Farington Waste Recovery Park, which they blame for producing awful smells and plumes of steam, at a meeting on Monday.

The Environment Agency says it has received more than 100 complaints in the last fortnight alone - as revealed in last week’s Guardian.

Residents have now called on the site’s owners – Global Renewables – to get their house in order.

Admitting they’d made a ‘commissioning error’ which led to a release of odours that were smelt as far away as Bamber Bridge, bosses at Global Renewables now face a substantial financial penalty.

Pensioners, parents and children packed the conference room at Farington Waste Recovery Park and extra chairs were needed.

One resident, Pauline Clarke, from Croston Road, has spent more than £25 on air fresheners in the last two weeks as the damp, musty smell has filtered into her house and car.

She said: “It smells like a swamp, and it’s on my curtains, my bedding, my hair. It’s vile.

“It’s been happening every day for the past two weeks, and at one stage it made me heave – I thought I was going to be sick, it was so bad.

“You can see the steam coming out of the chimneys.”

Like many people, this was the first meeting Pauline had attended, and they were frightened about whether the smell and steam coming from the plant was affecting their health.

Others have been campaigning against the controversial plant since before it was even approved.

At earlier meetings, residents said they were told by those at Lancashire County Council, which granted planning permission for the site, that they wouldn’t smell anything coming from it.

Colin Bell, 74, of Stanifield Lane, used to play on the land when he was a young boy, and also campaigned to stop the facility being built.

He said: “I think it’s in the wrong place. It’s too close to houses, and now we’ve got trouble with these terrible smells. I thought it was the drains at first.”

Tim Carter, of Bispham Avenue, who spearheaded the opposition group Residents Against Waste Site (RAWS), said: “People are really up in arms about this.

“The smell is like stale, mouldy, wet cloths, and makes people feel quite nauseous when it’s strong.”

For the full story, see this week’s Leyland Guardian