Resident kicks up a stink about horrible odours

Moir Seafoods, Amble.
Moir Seafoods, Amble.

A foul odour emanating from a fish factory can be so bad that residents can’t put their washing out or open a window, it has been claimed.

One resident living close to Moir Seafoods at Amble’s Coquet Enterprise Park has complained to the Gazette about the smell, which can be ‘unbearable and make you retch’.

However, Northumberland County Council has said that, following investigations, the conditions are not classed as a statutory nuisance and the company has taken measures to reduce the risk of smells.

The resident, who lives in nearby Newmoor Close but did not want to be named, said: “I would like to draw attention to the foul odour coming from Moir Seafoods. It has been going on for a long time and people from other areas around us can smell this.

“It is not all the time, but it can be two or three times a week and it can last for up to a whole day – it depends on the weather.

“What we have been told, and I don’t know if it is true, is that there is a skip outside for the waste. When it has been raining and the waste is out, it gives off the foul odour. It smells like rotten fish and it can be so bad that you can’t put your washing out or open a window.”

Local councillors and officers from Northumberland County Council have previously investigated the issues.

A county-council spokeswoman said: “We have had a small number of complaints about odour from this company and these have been fully investigated, including some visits to residents and some log diaries.

“The council can only take action where there is evidence of conditions that are classed as a statutory nuisance and this has not been found during our investigations. The company has been working proactively with the council. It has introduced measures to reduce the risk of odours – including new storage arrangements.”

Back in 2014, county-council officers and local councillors met to discuss the issue. Notes from these talks, shown to the Gazette, stated that Moir had taken action by placing bins – used to store viscous fluids (fish innards) and possibly the shells from clams – in a refrigerated container, which slowed down the biological process. The notes stated that this meant that the smell only became apparent when the doors were opened for storage and disposal, limiting the time of escape for the smell, which was unavoidable but intermittent.

A spokesman for the company said that Moir Seafoods has done everything that the council has asked it to do, in relation to controlling the smells from the site.