Letter to Swale Borough Council regarding odours

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05 Oct 2009
Dear Mr Andrews,

Once again I find myself in receipt of a number of complaints following another two consecutive weekends of foul odours, both of which according to the residents who have reported these incidents have been the result of activities on local farms in or around Bapchild.

Besides the obvious questions as to why this is happening and with which material, I am somewhat perplexed as to the licensing arrangements for a season which both yourself and the Environment Agency had suggested was complete for this year during the meeting with Derek Wyatt in early September.

Given the very high volume of incidents in Bapchild, I’m concerned that Swale Borough Council and the Environment Agency are not acting accordingly with the issue or suspension of licenses following a recorded incident.

We know that GH Dean was responsible for the first incident in July on farmland in the vicinity of Hempstead Farm and then subsequently during the August Bank Holiday weekend on farmland between Bapchild and Rodmersham with material that by all accounts was exactly the same.

I believe that the incident last weekend was on land behind the church and then this weekend again on land between Bapchild and Rodmersham. This weekend the odour had the same distinct smell as the previous two incidents involving GH Dean and I would be very disappointed if this turns out to be the case once again.

I understand from our meeting with Derek Wyatt that the source of the initial incidents in Bapchild was composting material. However my fellow parish councillors question this and believe it to be chicken manure rather than compost.

I think it needs to be clarified as to which of the waste materials Swale Borough Council and the Environment Agency are responsible for, because from what I gather this does sound like a Swale Borough Council matter.

We need to be absolutely clear as to which waste material has been used in these incidents in Bapchild.

I want to know exactly what licenses there are still left to run in this year and whether in fact some farmers are operating illegally outside of the terms of their license or without license.

It was also implied during the meeting with Derek Wyatt that such material can not be spread in consecutive years and given that every field in the vicinity of Bapchild must now have been involved in muck spreading can we be assured that next year there will be no muck spreading at all?

I look forward to your response.

Andy Hudson
Chairman, Bapchild Parish Council