Compost firm action plan drawn up over pong complaints

The Diggle Green composting facility, at Kenyon Junction, which has been the subject of repeated complaints
The Diggle Green composting facility, at Kenyon Junction, which has been the subject of repeated complaints
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An odour control plan has been drawn up for a composting operation which has been blamed for sickly sweet smells wafting over Lowton and Leigh.

Environment Agency officials say they have been working closely with Brosters, which converts waste into fertiliser at Diggle Green Farm, near Kenyon Junction.

Campaigners say those living on the Poplars estate in Lowton have been unable to open windows at night over the summer months, prompting a surge in complaints.

And after months of lobbying, Lowton East Neighbourhood Forum (LENDF) has welcomed confirmation, following unannounced inspections by the agency, that there is an odour issue for neighbours on the other side of the East Lancs Road.

Ed Thwaite, LENDF chairman, said: “The smell is sickly sweet, and not unlike pear drops, and it’s worse when the compost has just been turned.

“The smell is not as bad as it once was, because it’s treated now, but people living on the other side of the East Lancs have not been able to open their windows at night.”

The forum is now looking to change tack and tackle the problem of lorries, laden with compost, being driven through the area from the farm’s sister operation in Todmorden.

“You have got 45-foot trailers bringing these smells through our village so we’re going to approach Wigan Council, to see what can be done,” added Mr Thwaite.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “We are continuing to regulate Diggle Green Farm composting facility and monitor the site on a regular basis, which includes unannounced site inspections and routine off-site odour monitoring in the local area.

“We have met with the operator, A Broster Limited, to offer advice and guidance to comply with their permit and these have been incorporated into an odour management plan which forms part of their permit conditions.”

Some of the anticipated improvements include mobile screening of composting equipment and the creation of wind breaks.

A Broster Ltd were unavailable for comment.

The problems in Lowton follow concerns about stenches in Bryn and fresh complaints about smells from Parbold’s waterworks.