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Carmarthenshire Pizza Cheese Factory Smells Unbearable, Say Residents

People who live near a factory which produces pizza cheese have described the smell as “unbearable” and “affecting our quality of life”.

Dairy Partners Ltd in Aberarad, Carmarthenshire, produces 400 tonnes of pizza cheese weekly and has received complaints about noise and smell.

It has also been criticised for a new waste treatment plant which was built without planning permission.

A spokesman for the site said complaints had been addressed.

It added it had to take action because the previous treatment equipment was failing, causing significant extra costs and river water quality concerns.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) said there had been 380 complaints about the site in 2022 and 2023, mostly about noise and odour.

“We just suffer with it and we’ve had enough. The smell is unbearable in the summer time. It’s 100% affecting our quality of life,” one resident told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Another claimed there was a “cacophony” of noise from various pieces of on-site equipment, including a siren sound when liquefied natural gas was delivered, and that this sometimes occurred at night.

Carmarthenshire Council said it gave Dairy Partners pre-planning application advice in 2019 about its proposed new effluent treatment plant.

The company, it said, was advised not to continue work at an early stage while the area for the treatment plant was being cleared.

Work to build the treatment plant did go ahead, leading to an enforcement complaint, but the council said no enforcement site visits were taking place at the time due to Covid lockdowns.

It said in normal circumstances, a site visit may potentially have led to a temporary stop being put on the work.

George Chadzy, whose gardening and building supplies firm is based behind the factory, said the “quite intense smell” could last for about an hour at a time.

“Some days you get the smell and the noise much worse than others,” he said, adding he does not get the “full experience” as he leaves at 17:00.

However, he said he had customers who had “found it quite off-putting and had almost been gagging”.

“When you’re trying to run a business when you have customers coming into a retail setting you want it to be comfortable for them, and it’s not always like that,” he said.

But Hazel Evans, mayor of Newcastle Emlyn and county councillor, said she believed the issues with the factory had been addressed.

“I walk my dog along here regularly and I haven’t smelled anything for months,” she said.

She said the economic effect of the factory closing would be “enormous” and pleaded with people to work together and communicate the issues.

NRW said the effluent treatment plant was built and operated without the necessary environmental permit approval, but that the permit had been varied in March this year to incorporate the facility.

A Dairy Partners spokesman said neighbours had been consulted before the new treatment plant was built at the Aberarad creamery.

He said further odour testing between 2021 and 2022 led to action being taken by the company, that NRW were “fully engaged in the process”, and that Dairy Partners answered odour complaints on the same day they were made.

The spokesman added the company made every effort to be a good neighbour, and sound-proofing investment had been made despite a noise survey in 2020 not detecting a problem.

Source : BBC