CONTROVERSIAL plans to pump more food at a waste management centre have been given the go-ahead despite concerns smells from the site are making residents “retch”.

Bosses at Olleco food waste centre, on Samian Way in Buckland, Aston Clinton, asked Buckinghamshire Council for permission to increase the amount of food waste they treat at their anaerobic digestion plant.

This proposal was met with huge opposition from local councillors, residents and two parish councils.

READ MORE: Residents object to plans to increase food waste pumping after being 'sick'

In an objection letter, councillor Bill Chapple claimed odours from the site were “rotten” and they had made neighbours “physically sick”.

This and several other objections were considered at a planning meeting in September where a decision on the proposals was deferred as councillors wanted more information on how the changes might affect the odour issue.

Following this, Olleco submitted four documents including complaints logs, odour assessments, and correspondence from the Environment Agency.

Officers judging the application claimed this new information did not change their opinion that the proposal should be given the go-ahead.

Bucks Free Press:

In a report, they also noted that it is the Environment Agency (EA) which regulates the odours from the site and not the council.

According to the report, during its inspections in the past two years, the EA did not find odours which were ‘unacceptable’.

This meant councillors could not consider this odour issue as a reason to refuse permission on planning grounds.

Councillor Charlie Clare said: “Odour is obviously an issue and I think it’s important we acknowledged there’s a smell coming from this plant.

READ MORE: Stronger car parking checks could be added near this Bucks town centre

“One of the things this report consistently talks about is level and not the quality of smell. We must acknowledge on behalf of our residents […] there are different types of smells and smells that are autumnal like cut grass or meadow flowers.

“They may be strong but pleasant.

“But a mild smell that makes you retch is pretty unpleasant and unneighbourly and I was not happy that wasn’t appreciated by the presentation last time.”

He continued: “However whilst supporting the concerns of my fellow members and supporting the upset of those residents and acknowledging there’s clearly an ongoing problem, I’m not sure this actual application is precisely targeted and relevant to that.

READ MORE: New food hygiene ratings revealed for eateries across Aylesbury

“But I think we can now see clearly there are issues here, they may not be particularly relevant to this application but they concern me gravely and I’m upset that last time we didn’t see that acknowledged by the company.”

Councillor Jonathan Waters called for a more “regular and rigorous” approach to odour inspections in light of residents’ complaints.

Following a short debate, councillors unanimously agreed planning permission would be granted.

The Strategic Sites Committee met on Thursday, October 1.