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Bedford set for a stinker when new muck spreading laws come in next year

By Bedfordshire On Sunday  |  Posted: October 28, 2013

Picture by Warren Gunn

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THE smell of pig manure may become common place in Bedford Borough as laws are due to change removing the requirement to have a permit for spreading in some cases.

Officers from Bedford Borough Council’s Environmental Health team have responded to a series of odour complaints from residents living near Norse Road in Bedford which were believed to have been the result of spreading pig manure on nearby fields in Renhold.

An investigation found that a piece of equipment was faulty which had caused a large amount of digestate to pool on the field.

Officers from Bedford Borough Council immediately visited the property and stopped any further spreading but the authority says that visits such as this are likely to become more common in Bedford Borough in the near future due to the new laws which come into effect from Spring next year.

Previously, enforcement regarding the spreading of digestate onto land was the responsibility of the Environment Agency. However, due to the new classification of digestate, there will no longer be a requirement for an environmental permit to be obtained prior to digestate spreading in some cases. Therefore any odour control from the spreading of such digestate will fall under the council’s remit.

Officers are now contacting local producers and spreaders of digestate to advise them of the change in rules and what will be expected of them and their responsibilities in terms of managing the odour.

Councillor Sarah Jayne Holland, portfolio holder for community and regulatory services at the Borough Council, said: “The quick work of our officers meant we were able to deal with this issue swiftly.

“We are already working with producers and spreaders of digestate to make them aware of the changes relating to the enforcement of this practice ahead of its introduction next year.”

If you have any queries, concerns or require a quick response to further incidents of odour nuisance then contact Environmental Health & Trading Standards on 01234 718099.

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