SMELLS so “rotten” they make residents sick could get worse if controversial food waste plans are given the go-ahead next week.

Proposals to allow more food waste to be pumped at Olleco waste management centre are set to be approved by Buckinghamshire Council despite fears odours will be become fouler as a result of the changes.

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The anaerobic digestion plant, on Samian Way in Buckland, Aston Clinton, currently treats food waste and general waste from restaurant chains.

But Buckinghamshire Council is being asked to allow even more food waste to be treated at the site and for leftover food packaging from takeaways, snack bars and cafes to be taken care of at the plant’s materials recycling facility, too.

This plan was hotly-contested before being discussed at a planning meeting earlier this month, with councillors and 25 residents teaming up to raise concerns about odours from the site as a result of these changes.

Bucks Free Press:

Bill Chapple, councillor for Aston Clinton and Bierton, wrote: “When this site was originally given planning permission the applicants said that all smells would be contained with the boundary of the site (if indeed there was any smell at all as they believed that there would not be any smell whatsoever).

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“The pretty village of Buckland has been totally taken over by this nauseous smell and the villagers are restricted to be in their houses and cannot open their windows all year round.

“This village is now blighted for as long as this site remains operative. When people walk along the canal next to the site they experience this rotten smell and some have been physically sick”.

Buckland Parish Council and Aston Parish Council have also called for the changes to be refused, with the latter claiming current issues with the site must be “resolved” before any alterations are approved.

Despite this, the council’s environmental health officer considered the proposals to be acceptable.

Councillors sitting on the Strategic Sites Committee at Buckinghamshire Council considered this proposal earlier this month after planning officers recommended it be approved.

But after discussing the issue for almost four hours, councillors could not come to an agreement on the proposal.

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They deferred a decision to allow Olleco to provide further information about the odour issue, in order to “reassure” councillors smells would not be made worse by the changes detailed in this application.

Fast forward three weeks and Olleco has hit back with four reports supporting their claims odours would not get worse in the surrounding areas.

With these documents and the environmental health officer’s comments in mind, planning chiefs have decided to stick with their initial recommendation to approve the plans.

They wrote: “On balance, the additional documentation does not provide any basis to deviate from the recommendation set out in the addendum to the initial committee report on the 3rd September 2020.

“The changes proposed within the application are not considered to result in an adverse odour impact”.

Councillors will have the final say on this application when it is considered for the second time at a meeting on Thursday, October 1.