We live in the UK's 'smelliest' village – it's reeked for 20 years and no one will fix it… we can't sell our homes | The Sun
RESIDENTS in the UK's "smelliest" village say it has reeked for 20 years but no one will fix the stench.
The whiff is so foul homeowners in Gelligaer, Caerphilly, South Wales, say they are struggling to sell their homes.
Sherry Spencer, who has lived in the village all her life, said the pong can make you think there's "a public toilet in your back garden".
The 72-year-old added: “The smell now is as bad as ever. It’s absolutely disgusting.
"You can phone and phone but nothing ever gets done about it. After 20 years of complaining we haven’t got an inch."
The source of the smell emanates from a nearby sustainable waste disposal plant.
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The BrynGroup-managed site also processes vast amounts of cow slurry and processes food waste from across Caerphilly.
But the owners insist the stench is just biofertiliser spread on fields which grow silage for cows.
Mark Roberts, 62, told WalesOnline the village is now cruelly nicknamed "smelly Gelligaer" with a "constant stench 365 days a year".
And in hot weather, the smells – described as "sulphurous" and "like acid has gone up your nose" – get worse, leaving Mark unable to open his doors.
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It was so bad that Sherry was forced to form a liaison group to find solutions with BrynGroup.
But she says it yielded nothing, so she gave up the role after two decades.
When Sherry injured herself in a stair fall, she wanted to downsize and looked to sell her home.
But when the noses of "every" prospective buyer started scrunching, she had to fess up about the stink, leaving her unable to sell.
And it's not the only problem facing the village.
Sherry says explosions and drilling at a quarry on the farm site has left her house with cracks and her dog "terrified".
A Bryn Group spokesperson said the quarry is blasted around 15 times a year, and claimed these would not damage properties.
They added: "We have taken significant measures to manage the cattle slurry, such as improving rainwater management. This keeps the clean rainwater separate from slurry to reduce the overall volume of slurry the farm is producing.
"We know that odours and activity associated with our dairy farm are often incorrectly attributed to the recycling facility and anaerobic digester we have on site.
"The food recycling operation has never been served with any kind of enforcement notice and, as a sealed system, emits no odours from the point at which food is delivered until the end-product, called digestate, is spread on local farmland and fields as biofertiliser.
"Even then, research shows that digestate biofertiliser has a lower odour profile than raw cattle slurry and the odour dissipates much more quickly."
A spokesman for Caerphilly council said: “The various operations on this site are subject to ongoing monitoring by the council, NRW and other partner agencies.
"We are aware of concerns from the surrounding community and a liaison group has been established to improve local engagement and provide a platform for community representatives to raise and discuss such issues.
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"All complaints received by the council are recorded and logged so that officers from the relevant section can investigate if appropriate.
"We will continue to work with the operator, the community and our partner agencies to address any concerns as they arise.”
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