Angry Truro resident prompts immediate council investigation at Fresh From Cornwall factory
A NEIGHBOUR who feared smoke from business premises was worsening his breathing difficulties has forced Cornwall Council to send its officers out to investigate.
Anthony Price, who suffers from asthma and bronchitis, photographed the smoke he noticed coming from the roof of Fresh From Cornwall in Newham, which produces slow-cooked beef and pork.
Mr Price e-mailed a photograph of the smoke to Cornwall Council, and copied it to the West Briton.
He wrote that he feared for his health after inhaling smoke from the factory the night before and felt that when he saw the emissions start up again the following day, he had to take action.
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"In my opinion this is a very serious health hazard," he claimed.
Mr Price's e-mail prompted an immediate response from the council department responsible for dealing with statutory nuisances.
Rebecca Kirk, assistant head of public health and protection, wrote back to Mr Price and the West Briton saying two officers were on their way to the site to "witness the nuisance".
She later said: "Officers in public health and protection (PH&P) have been investigating the allegations of smoke nuisance from a factory in Truro.
"We understand the factory is using untreated timber wood chips approved for food use to smoke meats.
"The legal position requires PH&P to determine if the smoke is causing a statutory nuisance as defined by the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
"While officers on occasion have witnessed smoke coming from the chimney it has been difficult to establish if the smoke fulfils the criteria of statutory nuisance.
"Two officers attended the site on Friday and were of the opinion the smoke coming from the factory was not a statutory nuisance.
"However, following a further few evening visits we have now established that there is a statutory smoke nuisance and are in the process of drafting a legal enforcement notice requiring the company to undertake works on the smoker to abate the nuisance.
"This can be done by the fitting of filters to the flue.
"We have been working closely with the company concerned to come to a resolution over this matter."
Sarah Newton, MP for Truro and Falmouth, was also copied in on the exchange and e-mailed Ms Kirk: "Thank you for your helpful update on the council's action.
"I look forward to hearing about the success of your actions."
Fresh From Cornwall did not respond to the West Briton's requests for a comment.