Relief in Fairfield as Letchworth Sewage Works operators Anglian Water drop stench abatement notice appeal

Anglian Water and Central Beds Council have agreed a proposed timescale for further work to mitigate

Anglian Water and Central Beds Council have agreed a proposed timescale for further work to mitigate the stench from Letchworth Sewage Works, with the appeal dropped so the water company can focus on finishing the job. - Credit: Archant

The stink plaguing the village of Fairfield now again looks set to end after the operators of Letchworth Sewage Works dropped their appeal against a smell abatement notice.

Anglian Water and Central Beds Council have agreed a proposed timescale for further work to mitigate the problem, with the appeal dropped so the water company can focus on finishing the job.

The water firm has also pledged to attend Fairfield Parish Council’s annual meeting next month to update the public on their works programme.

A spokesman for Fairfield Parish Council told the Comet: “This is good news and things are now moving in the right direction. By withdrawing their appeal to the abatement notice it appears they are at last admitting that there was a major problem.

“Central Beds Council re-issuing the abatement notice keeps the pressure on Anglian Water to provide a permanent solution and allows Fairfield residents to enjoy a smell-free life – as they did previously.”


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A faint smell had been noted by the people of nearby Fairfield for years, but intensified in the past year after processes changed at the works.

An abatement notice served to Anglian Water by Central Beds Council in December was widely welcomed – but Anglian then used a legal loophole at the 11th hour to challenge the notice’s validity, claiming it was impossible to stop the stench.

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This appeal has now been dropped following talks with the Central Beds Council – whose pollution team officers will continue to provide updates about the work, but will not attend the site in answer to complaints until the end of the agreed timescale for compliance with the notice.

An Anglian Water spokeswoman said: “We are working closely with Central Beds Council’s Environmental Health Officer and will continue to do so.

“We’ve already installed additional specialist equipment to help suppress odours and have plans in place to carry out additional work to alleviate odour over the coming year.

“We want to be the best neighbours we can and take all odour complaints seriously.”

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