Thursday, 7 Dec 2023

Little seaside town plagued by smell so bad nobody can open their windows

A mystery stench has been plaguing a British seaside town with the council blamed for failing to remove the foul odour. 

Residents of Brightlingsea, Essex, are terrified they’ll be left with the vile smell forever after the council allegedly called off a “proactive investigation” aimed at uncovering the source. 

Council officers visited the spot more than 30 times to learn more about the whiff which has been around for more than a year.

Tendringe Council is now being accused of failing to properly address the smell after it announced that it would stop monitoring activities in July.

Councillor Matt Court on Friday brought up the issue of the smell to the council.

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“When the proactive investigation closed we were promised reactive visits would take place, not forms handed out. The people affected by this are united and the problem is real and the message from us is clear please don’t be part of the problem be the solution.”

According to an EssexLive report, 32 complaints were filed on June 20 alone. Since the end of June, 12 more complaints were submitted.

Cabinet member for environment Councillor Mike Bush said that activities on a waste processing site are being undertaken in accordance with permit conditions.

He said: “Should residents be able to furnish officers with a witness report, diaries evidence in dates and times over how they are affected by these odours of course this will be followed up reviewed by the environmental team.”

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The debate between councillors was initiated after Mr Court submitted a petition complaining about the council.

The petition said: “The persistent stench that has plagued the residents of Brightlingsea for over a year is more than just a nuisance, it’s a matter of public health, well-being, and the quality of life for every person living and working in the affected area, including the school which has its main playing field nearby.

“It has turned what should be a pleasant environment into a place where people cannot even open their windows or spend time outside without discomfort.

“The initial investigation by Tendring District Council was a step in the right direction, but the premature closure of the investigation without finding a source or solution is deeply disappointing and frankly, unacceptable.

“This decision gives the impression of a council that is either unable or unwilling to fully address the problem, which is a disservice to the people it is supposed to represent and protect.”

Chief Executive of Trending Council Ian Davidson said: “Please don’t feel we are walking away from it or washing our hands of it. That is not the case. It is the case of understanding what we can take and our powers are limited unless we know that. But we should not lose sight that Brightlingsea is a fantastic place to visit and it should not undermine people’s confidence in that.”

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