Oxford

Meeting over 'stinky' town smell in Banbury

A bad smell in Banbury, Oxfordshire will be discussed at a public meeting this week after residents kicked up a stink.

People living in Grimsbury to the east of the town have complained for several years about a strong odour which they claim is coming from a paint company.

But Paintbox said its materials were widely used within the industry and all emissions were strictly controlled.

Tony Baldry MP will chair the meeting on Thursday evening.

Health effects

Pam Driscall lives nearby, she described it like a "tomcat had sprayed" saying: "It really reeks. It makes your throat sore; it makes your eyes water.

"I'm disabled and I'm here an awful lot of the time and I feel a prisoner in my own house."

Neighbour Rodney Olds said: "Basically, we can't use the garden in the nice summer hot weather, certainly in an easterly wind. It's just not worth considering getting the barbecue out. We want to know the long-term possible health effects on us and our families."

Councillor Ann Bonner, from Cherwell District Council, said: "When the wind is in an easterly direction it affects the residents.

"When it moves to another direction it can be smelt from junction 11 as you approach Banbury from the M40, which is giving Banbury the name of a 'stinky' town and it's a really bad advertisement for the town."

The district council first started receiving complaints in 2004.

'Independent investigation'

Residents have continued to lobby their MP for an investigation to be carried out and to identify the chemical make-up of the materials used on site in order to establish whether they may be harmful.

A spokesperson for Paintbox said: "The company has carried out a comprehensive and detailed investigation including employing an independent organisation to analyse potential sources of odour as well as co-operating fully with Cherwell District Council.

"While Paintbox is committed to making sure that all emissions generated from the Banbury site are strictly controlled it must be said that the environment around Banbury has proven to be a significant challenge in identifying specific smells.

"As anyone who lives in Banbury will recognise, there are a number of unabated industrial facilities contributing numerous odours which remain unchallenged."

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