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Smell of fish from Ocean Processing driving residents mad in Bitterne
“STOP the stink!”
And with “constant” noise from the fish processing plant also a nuisance, they are calling on city council chiefs to act as the firm does not have planning permission.
Ocean Processing UK Ltd's plant was first set up in a vacant industrial unit at Hazel Road in Bitterne in February 2012.
The firm uses the site to take in shipments of frozen raw shellfish, cook them, re-freeze them and then ship them out.
But residents in nearby Braeside Road first started to notice the constant drone of generators and compressors at the site in May 2012, with the noise especially bad at night.
And months later, they started to notice the fishy whiff coming from the site.
One of the residents, Tommi Buckley, says the odour can be smelt up to five times every day, and means he is unable to open windows or doors for fear of it settling inside his house.
The 31-year-old said: “It's horrible. It gets into clothes and furniture, I can't put washing out and I can't open windows.”
His wife, 32-year-old Harriet Buckley, said: “When all this first stated I was pregnant and the smell made me sick.
“Now I have a small baby, with summer coming, how am I supposed to keep windows open to keep my daughter cool?”
The noise is also a bugbear for the residents, with neighbour Clive Mortimer saying it can sometimes wake residents up at 2am.
He said: “The noise can be constant, and sounds something like a motor boat going down the river.”
They collected a petition which was signed by 177 people, calling on the council to act.
Cllr Paul Lewzey, a ward councillor who has been working with the residents, says the council is now taking enforcement action against the firm for its breach of planning rules.
The site was previously used as a storage facility by another company.
A retrospective planning application from Ocean Processing UK to change it into a fish processing plant was handed in last summer, but then withdrawn.
Cllr Lewzey added: “I've been told the smell can be so bad it's actually woken people up, and having experienced it myself it can be quite sickening.
“Industry has a need to be a good neighbour just as much as anyone else.”
When approached by the Daily Echo, Ocean Processing UK's general manager, Ken Dooner, says he “sympathises” with residents and that the firm has put in measures to lessen the impact of the noise and smell.
He said: “We have carried out work in the compressing room, which was the source of the noise problem.
“We are having an acoustic test done in the next two or three days, and it further work is required we will do it.”
He also said the smell came from “dodgy stuff” which had been delivered but had to be left outside to avoid contamination, although he said they now had a new system to avoid that.
But residents say there has been no difference to the level of the smell and noise, and they now want the city council to clamp down on the firm.
Sixty-five-year-old Joan Chapman, who lives closest to the site, said: “They haven't got planning permission - so why can't the council just turn round to them and tell them to stop?”
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