Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and The Border, has called for clear deadlines to be set out for improvement of the ‘Penrith Pong’. Mr Stewart made the call after meeting separately with Omega Proteins, Penrith Industrial BID and the Environment Agency on Friday, August 16th.
Mr Stewart was shown around the animal rendering facility by Danny Sawrij, director of Leo Group, and the site’s manager, Simon Boyles, who both assured Mr Stewart that the current building work being undertaken at the site was to help reduce odours. Mr Sawrij also explained that the site was installing a back up generator so that in future the site should not be affected by power shortages, as it was earlier this summer.
Penrith Industrial BID also met with Mr Stewart to discuss the effect the Penrith Pong was having on the business community in Penrith. Representatives explained that they wanted to see an end to the issue, which was causing concern among members. Mr Stewart also discussed the issue with the Environment Agency and the need for clear deadlines to be set for improvements.
After the meetings, Mr Stewart said: “I think it’s really important that Leo Group and the Environment Agency communicate clearly to residents what the planned improvements for the Omega Proteins site are, when they will be complete and how the work they are doing on site will reduce odours.
“The Penrith Pong is a serious concern for residents and businesses in the area. I am glad to see work is being done to improve the odours and look forward to seeing deadlines for improvements met.”
Penrith Pong campaign organiser Jeff Thomson said: “The company, Eden District Council, Penrith Town Council and councillors, won’t acknowledge the problem. They just fob off complaints and certainly won’t do anything to stop the smell. Omega even claims councillors ‘congratulated’ them on ‘odour reduction’. We hope the MP’s visit will bring some answers and action.
“The technology is there, but not the will. Too many organisations and groups in Penrith have stood by while this company expands it’s production capacity on an industrial scale. Animal and chicken waste from abattoirs across the country is transported every day in unsealed, unchilled lorries for processing in Penrith. The odour is obnoxious and unacceptable.”