The campaign to stop the Penrith pong, has received a boost. Penrith & the Border MP Rory Stewart is to take the issue direct to Omega Proteins Ltd with a visit to it’s Penrith animal rendering plant.
Plus, posters for the new 2019 campaign are beginning to appear in local shops, some of whom have a copy of the 38 Degrees ‘stop the Penrith pong’ petition for supporters to sign. Online the petition has over 400 signatures, but campaign organiser Jeff Thomson said : “There’s a sound online base through Facebook, Twitter #penrithpong and 38 Degrees, but we now need to reach the public, Penrith residents and visitors, direct.”
This year there has been increase in odour reports to the Environment Agency resulting in the campaign ‘stop the Penrith pong’. Now, MP Rory Stewart has told Thomson he has accepted an invitation to visit the plant, will raise campaigners’ concerns and ask that all possible actions are taken to stop the smell.
The odour, from the expanding animal rendering factory on the edge of the Lake District National Park, has blighted the Cumbria town for years and campaigners claim has resulted in lost tourism income and jobs. “There is an offensive odour nuisance which just isn’t going away,” said Thomson.
The campaign has three aims, first to stop Eden District Council approving planning applications for expansion at the site. Second, force the Environment Agency to suspend Omega Protein’s permit to operate a category 3 animal rendering plant, until odour emissions and leaks are stopped. Third, stop the transport, on public roads, of tons of abattoir waste, from all around the country, being transported to Penrith in unchilled, unsealed lorries.
Thomson said he is disappointed at the response to the campaign from local councillors, some of whom sit on an Omega Proteins liaison group, and local environmental groups. “At least the MP is bringing some priority to this ongoing nightmare and taking the campaigners’ concerns to the company,” he said, “I look forward to hearing from him after his meeting,” said Thomson.
Omega Proteins Ltd employs about 100 compared with tourism which employs around 4,600 and generates £337million to the local economy. The petition can be signed via the Facebook page Protest Against Penrith Pong, online at you.38degrees.org.uk/p/stopthepenrithpong or in some local Penrith shops.