The Environment Agency has asked the owners of a controversial chicken farm in East Huntspill near Highbridge to resolve problems with strong smells following many complaints from local people.

Residents living near Newbridge Farm in New Road, East Huntspill, say the pungent smells coming from the site have become “unbearable”.

A Senior Environment Officer at Environment Agency told Burnham-On-Sea.com this week: “The Environment Agency are aware of, and have substantiated, odour complaints originating from Newbridge Farm Poultry Unit.”

“Over the past few months the Operator has been working to identify root causes and mitigation techniques to help reduce the impact of the farm on the local residents.”

jlastras“Recently the site has experimented with feed formulations and a reduction in bird numbers.”

“It was planned to make alterations to the ventilation system but the planning permission needed to be able to extend the chimneys on the roofs was recently refused due to local objections and visual impact.”

“As a result the Operator, Hook 2 Sisters, are now being asked to provide additional methods and techniques to reduce odour impact.”

The strong odour has been smelt in parts of Highbridge and Burnham-On-Sea during recent weeks. Residents have taken to social media to air their concerns.

One says: “The odour from the broiler units is not a ‘normal’ countryside smell. In this area, ‘normal’ countryside smells come from muck spreading or yard cleaning, which we’re well used to.”

“The smell of thousands of birds’ poo and ammonia accumulating and being vented upwards from the roofs of what is essentially an industrial chicken factory can in no way be considered as a ‘normal’ countryside smell.”

“There had been a chicken farm operating at this site for many years previous to 2016 but it was almost half the size in terms of capacity, visually discrete and any odour emissions were not dispersed far beyond the site boundary.”