Residents in legal fight over site odour claim

Allegation: The former composting site at the centre of the claim
Allegation: The former composting site at the centre of the claim
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Around 20 families are involved in legal action against the owners of a former composting facility over claims they endured odour problems for years.

Residents living near to Sherdley Farm in Ratten Lane, Hutton, operated by TEG Group PLC, are alleging there were odour problems between 2007 and 2010.

They have said that they were unable to open their doors and windows, and some have also said they experienced ill health as a result of the problems.

Specialist environmental solicitors Hugh James are working with residents with a view to pursuing compensation.

But TEG bosses claim the solicitors have not looked properly into the history of the site and there are no grounds for such a claim.

Gwen Evans, of Hugh James, representing the families, said: “The evidence we have seen suggests that residents have been exposed to an unacceptable level of odour from the composting facility.

“People in these circumstances are entitled to compensation for what they have suffered in the past.”

Coun Bill Martin, chairman of Hutton Parish Council, lives in Liverpool Road and says he was affected by the problems.

He said: “There was a bad odour, but the flies from the site were the main problem. There were swarms in the area, and you couldn’t open your window during the summer.

“We were annoyed because we’d just moved into the house at the time.

In April 2010, TEG was fined £20,000 and £2,000 in court costs for breaching licence conditions at Sherdley Farm.

The facility shut in 2010.

Mick Fishwick, chief executive of the TEG Group, said: “HJ has not provided details of the claims so TEG cannot comment directly on any allegations but we are not aware of any grounds for such a claim and we intend to resist it.”

An open day for residents is to be held at Longton Sports and Social Club, School Lane, on January 29 from 2-8pm.

Solicitors will be presenting further information about the claim, funding and next steps.