We live next to the UK's SMELLIEST factory… the odour is so horrific it’s made me suicidal | The Sun

RESIDENTS living next to the UK's smelliest factory say the odour is so horrific it made them suicidal.

Davidstow Creamery in Cornwall makes some of the UK's most popular dairy products, but last year it was successfully prosecuted for breaching its permits by polluting.

Its waste-water treatment plant was found to have leaked into the surrounding area, killing fish and "blighting the lives of people nearby".

Davidstow Creamery makes much-loved brands like Cathedral City, Frylight, Clover and Davidstow Cheddar, but residents found the smell and noise of the factory far from appetising.

Natalie, 40, from nearby Treworra, told CornwallLive: "We are just utterly at a place of despair.

"I’m angry and anxious all the time. When I open the door I know I’m going to be confronted with the smell and the noise."

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"All we’re asking for is compliance, but it’s like looking down the barrel of a gun."

Jim Hunt, 69, from Tremail, said: "It’s very hard to describe the smell and it does change but it’s a mixture between rotten eggs, dead sheep and a blocked sewage pipe.

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"At its worst people will tell you they can’t go out of their houses.

“It p**ses me off. It’s been going on for years and years. Literally since we’ve been here and before that."

The cheese factory, now owned by Canadian giant Saputo, also leaked waste into the River Inny, killing thousands of trout.

It failed to disclose the breaches to the Environment Agency before pleading guilty to more than 20 charges of polluting the river and air and breaching permits between 2016 and 2022.

The factory was handed a £1.5million fine after residents told Truro Crown Court that the leakages had left them feeling suicidal.

Although the Environment Agency says improvements have been made, it continues to record multiple permit breaches at the site.

Natalie added that the £1.5million fine paid by the factory is "small change" compared with the £75million expansion which Saputo announced in 2019 to double cheese production at the site.

The Environment Agency confirmed residents' claims that the gas behind the smell can cause nosebleeds and headaches.

An officer sent by the agency to investigate found the smell so strong they had to leave the factory.

Saputo said: "We have undertaken a substantial programme of capital investment and operational improvements over the last four years at the Davidstow site.

"We are aware of a few neighbours still experiencing issues around odour and noise and further initiatives are underway to address this, which they are aware of.

"We work closely with the Environment Agency (EA) – sharing plans and regularly reporting progress.

"Furthermore, we hold regular three-way meetings with the EA and local residents to update them on progress and discuss any complaints.

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"Davidstow residents are represented by the parish council, with whom we have a productive working relationship.

"We recommend speaking to them as they are best placed to speak on behalf of the broader community."

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