Smelly UK village where 20-year stench is so bad windows are slammed shut

Residents in a small British village have been left fuming – and fumigating – after the area was taken over by a horrific smell.

Gelligaer in Caerphilly, Wales, only has a population of around 18,500, yet its history dates back to 103 AD. However, in more nearly 2,000 years of existence, locals have never been so enraged as they are now thanks to the smells created by a farm turned into a sustainable waste disposal plant and sandstone quarry – and it has been going on for more then 20 years.

According to Wales Online the Bryn Group, took over a huge 350-hectare farm and turned it into a waste management operation, and it now has a heard of 730 Holstein Fresian cows – all of which create certain smells. It takes the waste from both cows and humans, such as food waste and composting, and turns it into renewable electricity and fertiliser.

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The company, which has around 100 staff, also makes sandstone for roads from its quarry at the same site. The activities at the site have created a “constant stench, 365 days a year,” locals are now claiming.

Sherry Spencer, 72, who has lived in Gelligaer all her life said: ”We’ve been surrounded by farms here for more than a century and we’ve never had smells like we have now. It’s like a sulphurous smell, like acid has gone up your nose. Other times it’s like there’s a public toilet in your back garden. The smell now is as bad as ever.

“After 20 years of complaining we haven’t got an inch, so in the end I retired as secretary of the liaison group because the group wasn’t making a difference. I put my house up for sale because I’m diabetic and I fell down the stairs, so I needed to downsize.

“I had three people one day come and see the house and the village was absolutely stinking. Everyone that visited knew it wasn’t a typical farm smell – it’s absolutely disgusting.

“Every person who came here asked me about the smell andI was embarrassed but I couldn’t lie to them and sell them my house under false pretences. In the end they all turned me down.”

She went on to claim that the company who owns the site refuses to “give an inch” during conversations with them about it.

A statement from the company maintained the smells have never seen the food waste part of the operation given “any kind of enforcement notice” and that “research shows that digestate biofertiliser has a lower odour profile than raw cattle slurry and the odour dissipates much more quickly.”

A spokesman said: "The cows eat a lot of sileage, which we grow on our farm, and produce a large amount of slurry, which we process on-site along with food waste from across Caerphilly in our anaerobic digester. We have taken significant measures to manage the cattle slurry, such as improving rainwater management.

"We know that odours and activity associated with our dairy farm are often incorrectly attributed to the recycling facility and anaerobic digester we have on site."

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