Kicking up a stink over Doncaster fertiliser plan

Protesters fighting the lagoon plan at High Melton
Protesters fighting the lagoon plan at High Melton
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Hundreds of residents in a rural part of Doncaster are kicking up a stink over plans they fear will leave a nauseating pong around their homes.

Over 600 letters of objection have been sent into planners at Doncaster Council over the scheme, which would see farmland used to create a lagoon to store a liquid fertiliser created as a byproduct of using food leftovers to generate electricity at a the ReFood works at Bentley.

They claim the plans will create an unpleasant odour which they believe they previous experienced in April - a claim denied by the fertiliser's manufacturers. The also fear it will cause problems on the roads as tankers bring the fertiliser to the site.

The scheme is due to go before Doncaster Council planning committee later this year.

Dave Glover, a member of a campaign group called Villages Against High Melton Biofertilizer Lagoon, said: "People are very bitter about this potentially going ahead. There are hundreds against it.

"There is the saying not in my backyard, and that is how we feel. This could mean vast amounts of fertilizer. There was a bad smell in April, and they had to bring the children inside the building at Copley Junior School because it was so bad. They felt ill. It meant people could not sit in their gardens."

They fear the smell could affect people in Barnburgh, High Melton, Sprotbrough ad Harlington.

He also raised concerns that the plans would lead to road safety issues because of tankers having to bring the fertiliser to the site. He also said there were fears it could attract vermin.

Bosses at ReFood, which manufactures the fertiliser as a by-product of a green energy works in Bentley, say they believe the concerns are the result of complaints in the area in April, when many residents reported a foul odour. But the firm claims the source was neither Red House Farm nor the product used.

Philip Simpson, commercial director for Saria, the parent company of Refood, said the lagoon would store the fertiliser during the year for use during the growing season. Its storage would mean it could be brought to the site gradually over the year, rather then using a large number of lorries in a short period of time.

The fertilser has been used since 2011, including on Red House Farm.

He said: "The issue seems to stem from an incident in April, but the smell reported is not the same as anything we produce. We have had people in to see the product for themselves.

"We believe the smell in April was from another product and from another place.

"The lagoon would be controlled by the Environment Agency. People obviously have genuine concerns but looking at the controls and facts the lagoon is the best possible option."

he said the product was not odourless, but not have an unpleasant smell like that reported in April.

He added the Environment Agency rules would prevent the fertiliser being used when organisations like schools or pubs where down wind.