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Environment Agency called in as smells plague town
The St Merryn Meat Foods facility on the Cooksland industrial estate was investigated over odours in 2018.
28th April 2021
By Ollie Young
The Environment Agency has confirmed to the Voice that it is investigating several reports of foul smells in the Bodmin area.
Residents across the town had noticed the presence of an odour during the last week – with many saying they were unhappy about it.
With complaints from residents mounting, the Voice contacted the agency to see what was being done about the issue and asked whether the offending smell had been identified.
The EA confirmed: “We have received several reports of an odour in Bodmin over the last two days.
“Officers are investigating the source and cause of the odours and we will expect the operators of any facility found to be contributing to the odour to identify what’s happened and put it right.”
Following the initial update from the EA, the agency offered the Voice a further update on Tuesday morning.
A spokesperson added: “Our staff have visited the area to make checks and have identified more than one potential source.
“We have been in contact with the operators of the sites that may have given rise to these odours and continue to investigate the reasons for the them.”
The spokesperson added: “The odour had noticeably improved during late evening checks on Friday.”
The smell began to be noticed on Thursday as the sun shone and the wind picked up – with numerous residents pointing the finger at a facility on the Cooksland Business Park. This is not the first time that the EA have had to visit Bodmin for odour complaints after the agency launched an investigation back in 2018.
Back then, the smell was located to the 2 Sisters Food Group abattoir on the Cooksland industrial estate, which has since become St Merryn Meat Foods, under the Kepak group.
In that case, the food group revealed it was a one-off issue, where the odour suppressant system had malfunctioned and they said that they had quickly fixed the problem.
The Voice understands that Cornwall councillor Leigh Frost has worked closely with the EA and the meat factory in recent years to work on the odour issue, while another source close to the Voice suggested that the factory had in fact invested around £1m in trying to remedy any issues around odour.
On this occasion, the bad smell has also been emanating from people’s drains with the Voice’s source suggesting that although previous odours have been linked to the meat factory, it does not mean that this case is linked.
The odour could be smelt in numerous different locations across Bodmin from Dennison Road to Gilbert Road.
However, as the strong winds have died down, the smell has also decreased.
St Merryn Meat Foods was contacted by the Voice for comment on this issue on multiple occasions but has not responded.