RESIDENTS in a Northumberland seaside village are kicking up a stink about smells coming from a sewage treatment works.
People living at Lynemouth, near Ashington, are fed up with the stench they say regularly wafts from the village’s sewage treatment works, owned by Northumbrian Water.
Philip and Margaret Spratt, whose Sea View home is 250 metres from the works, recently set up a petition demanding something be done about the smell.
They amassed 564 signatures which were presented to Northumberland County Council in May.
As a result of the petition, the council has begun an investigation into the stink and met Northumbrian Water. A report to a meeting of the authority next week states that enforcement action against the company is an option.
The company claims it has only received four complaints in the last 15 months about smell thought to be from the site. Last night, Mr Spratt, 47, explained that the odour has been a problem for residents of Sea View for around six to seven years. He described it as the smell of sewage, and worse than silage.
Mr Spratt and his wife, a 43-year-old cleaner at Wansbeck General Hospital, set up the petition earlier this year, putting copies in shops and knocking on doors.
Mr Spratt said it has been signed by villagers and people from as far away as Hadston, those who work in Lynemouth and holidaymakers.
He added: “We think it is absolutely fantastic. I did not expect it, I expected one or two hundred.”
He is to attend the meeting of the council’s south east area committee, at Newbiggin Sports and Community Centre, on Wednesday.
The report to members states that an investigation into the smell has been launched.
As part of the probe, the council identified 397 people who signed the petition and provided addresses, and has asked them to keep a log of the smell. To date, however, only four have been returned.
Talks have been held with Northumbrian Water and officers have visited the site.
Four potential sources of the odour have been identified, along with possible action which could be taken to address it.
The report says that if “sufficient supporting evidence” is found, negotiations will take place with the company aimed at bringing about an “improvement programme”. It adds that “formal action” could follow. A spokeswoman for Northumbrian Water said: “We are working closely with Northumberland County Council to establish the source of the odour.”