COUNCILLORS and residents are asking Ansa to investigate claims of a ‘garbage smell’ thought to be coming from its new environmental hub in Cledford Lane.

A survey of residents in neighbouring Booth Lane – conducted by Labour councillors Jonathan Parry and Mike Hunter – showed that on one day alone there were 19 complaints of odours.

Feedback from 17 households showed 43 complaints of odours during the week commencing Monday, July 2, although seven of the homes surveyed said they were not affected by any odours during the seven-day period.

While the results do not identify the environmental hub or its fleet of HGVs as the source of the odours, Cllr Parry believes a further look by Ansa and Cheshire East Council would be appropriate.

Cllr Parry said: “We were getting complaints from all over of a garbage smell, but it’s not 100 per cent that it’s coming from the depot.

“On the back of the meeting with Ansa they seemed to be taking it seriously and were quite interested in seeing the results.

“It’s not conclusive but it definitely says that there is a strong possibility of a problem and it needs investigating.

“We have done this ourselves just to get a sample – what I would like to see is Ansa using their much more significant resources to nail down where it is coming from.

“There are a number of things it could be, and those times of day will mean a lot more to them against their own logs.”

The results showed a concentration of complaints on day one of the survey – Monday, July 2, with four households registering odours between 2pm and 3pm alone.

By contrast, Saturday saw just two complaints and Sunday three.

Cllr Parry added: “We have got to be realistic and what everybody wants is to get this issue sorted.

“They seem very cooperative and want to integrate themselves into the community.

“There is nothing else we can do at this moment in time. If anyone reports anything else, we are taking a note and passing it on.”

Kevin Melling, Ansa managing director, said: “Ansa Environmental Services is fully committed to being a good neighbour and we have already met with some community representatives to discuss odour issues.

“While the residents’ survey remains unclear as to the source of the odour, Ansa has recently had an issue with a vital piece of machinery that may have coincided with the survey mentioned. This has now been repaired. On investigating, it was revealed that the odour management system installed at the depot was not working as well as it could be. We immediately got in touch with the manufacturer who attended site and quickly rectified the fault.

“We have taken additional steps to mitigate the risk of this happening again and we have worked very closely with the supplier, however, machinery failure and exceptional weather conditions have exacerbated the issue. We are sorry to hear that residents did experience some odour problems during this period. We are pleased to say that other than the occasional unexpected failure, the depot is working efficiently and performing well.”

An ‘odour map’ was submitted to Cheshire East Council as part of the planning application for the environmental hub, when the project was being considered in 2016.

The map showed that hundreds of residents in Booth Lane and in some of the houses behind it would be able to smell an odour coming from the the depot.

But Cheshire East Council confirmed in May 2016 that the odour level would be lower than the government’s detection threshold and therefore this did not become an issue in approving the scheme.