18th Nov, 2017

Stoke Prior wood-burner site which allegedly 'belched smoke' is forced to stop operating

Bromsgrove Editorial 10th Nov, 2017

A STOKE Prior wood-burner site which allegedly ‘belched smoke’ into the area and emitted ‘dangerous’ fumes from chimneys has been forced to stop operating by Bromsgrove District Council, writes Arun Mohammed.

Intall Fields Farm, where firewood supplier Flog-a-Log received backlash from neighbours earlier this year, has been forced to cease by April 26, 2018 in line with an Enforcement Notice first issued in October 2016.

Bromsgrove District Council alleged the breaches of planning control harmed the green belt and prevented the enjoyment of own private land for the neighbouring households due to ‘significant noise levels and disturbance’.

The biomass boilers and flues as well as an area of hardstanding must now be removed.

The Standard reported in April this year residents’ concerns over the pollution where local business owner Nick Arnell said the smoke had an ‘acrid smell that burns your throat and is causing people to choke in their own homes’.

Bromsgrove District Council had taken the enforcement action when it came to light that no planning permission had been granted for a ‘material change of use’ at the site, plus the ‘operational development’ of installing a biomass boiler system and 14 flues in January 2016.

The Stoke Pound Lane company had appealed the notice however, following a public inquiry held in September 2017, the appeal was dismissed and the owner was given six months to comply with the enforcement.

Bromsgrove District council’s portfolio holder, Councillor Kit Taylor, said: “This business was operating without proper planning permission, the proper process was followed and the inspector has vindicated our planners’ decisions.”

He also said unlawful operations of any kind cannot and will not be tolerated.

Councillor Malcolm Glass, local ward member involved in the work, said it’s been a difficult time for the residents.

“The pollution out of the chimneys was getting into thier homes, affecting their family lives.

“We’ve had to wait a long time but we got the right result in the end,” he added.

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