NEIGHBORS of a chicken factory won’t go outside because of the “disgusting” stench of rotting meat.
Bosses at Banham Poultry factory in Attleborough, Norfolk, have been fined £300,000 as the foul odor has plagued the area for a decade.
Local residents told how they keep doors and windows closed and avoid their gardens to escape the “nauseating” stench.
Some gagged and even vomited because of the stench.
Complaints about the slaughterhouse and processing plant resulted in the company being fined £300,000 last month after being prosecuted by the Environment Agency.
Prosecutors followed an investigation that found blood from poultry flooded the floor of the slaughterhouse around a staircase and a truck, in part due to clogged drains.
Chelmsford Magistrates Court in Essex highlighted how water used to wash chickens was left on the slaughterhouse floor “unhygienic”.
Investigators also found broken or damaged doors and walls that allowed foul odors to escape, and a roof so weak it collapsed.
Another part of the site, licensed to slaughter more than a million birds a week, was deemed so unsafe that Environment Agency officials were barred from entering.
People living in nearby streets were overwhelmed by “a constant whiff from the slaughterhouse” which peaked during the 2020 Covid lockdowns.
70-year-old retired police officer Peter Shaw, who lives less than 100 meters from the facility, said he filed 94 complaints about the company between 2019 and 2021.
He said: “The smell used to be like rotting bodies. It was just awful and it’s only recently gotten a little better.
“But while it’s not nearly as bad, I smelled it again while walking my dog next to the factory. I just want it to stop
“We have lived here for ten years and have endured the smell all along. It used to be so bad that we couldn’t go outside or put laundry on the line.”
Peter and his wife Lesley, 70, said Banham Poultry was originally based “in the middle of nowhere” in rural Norfolk until their old premises were destroyed by fire around 25 years ago.
The company then moved to a former cider factory in Attleborough.
Retired engineer Barry Hills, 81, said he was plagued by “terrible” smells at his home in Blenheim Way, Attleborough.
He said: “There were problems when they stored waste products from slaughtered chickens in large containers.
“In the summers, especially when it was warm, the bins were left out and the stench would be unbelievable.
“I used to love walking in the local fields, but I had to stop.
“We used to be attacked by seagulls that were attracted to the leftover chickens lying around.”
Education adviser Rachel Oner, 53, who lives on Blenheim Drive with husband Apo, said she was “physically ill” because of the stench.
She added: “It got to a stage where I couldn’t take it anymore. Luckily I made it to the loo but it shows how bad it was even with our windows closed.
“We’ve been here since 1997, well before Banham Poultry moved here. But the smell just got worse when they arrived. It was horrifying and turned my stomach.”
Charity worker Owen Smith, 21, who lives opposite the factory, said: “I do notice it every now and then. It’s excruciating at times, especially in summer when it’s aggravated by the heat.
“But you won’t smell anything for a week or two, and then another day it’ll be really sharp.”
Banham Poultry acknowledged allegations of failing to keep activities outside the slaughterhouse free from odor nuisance that could cause pollution between January 2019 and September 2021.
It also admitted that it had failed to comply with an enforcement order served by the Environment Agency outlining steps it should have taken to limit or prevent odors from leaving the site.
The Environment Agency recorded odors outside the slaughterhouse on 86 occasions from early 2019 to September last year, ranging from faint to very strong.
The public body initially urged the company to act after nine complaints about the slaughterhouse were filed with the previous owner in early 2019.
Investigators issued the company with a writ of execution to prevent odors from leaving the slaughterhouse’s confines.
Another employee wrote in an email in 2019 that he was “embarrassed” and could not justify the company’s poor management of the site.
The employee added: “We stink”.
Sophie Cousins, who led the EA’s investigation into the slaughterhouse, said several warnings to the company were often ignored.
District Judge Andrew King acknowledged that the practices at Banham Poultry have had a “significant impact on the quality of life” in the city
Alongside a £300,000 fine, he ordered Banham Poultry to pay £67,621 in costs and a £170 victim’s surcharge.
A Banham Poultry spokesman said the firm was acquired in October 2021 and the new management team have since “committed themselves to being a good neighbor and playing a positive role in the local community”.
The spokesman added: “The Environment Agency has been pleased with the progress made since the takeover by the new owners.
“Banham will continue to work very hard to resolve these issues going forward.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6402100/cant-go-outside-smell-chicken-factory/ We can’t go outside because of the smell of rotting meat from the nearby chicken factory – it’s been making us sick for 10 years