A 'SMELLY' waste plant could have its operating permit withdrawn.

That is if community leaders get their way, with Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury and Cheshire West and Chester councillor Sam Naylor leading the call.

They have issued the message to Environment Agency (EA) senior managers following several years of complaints about the odour at Renescience in Lostock.

During a meeting with the agency, Mr Amesbury said: “Smelling really is believing. Residents and local businesses still smell the odour despite all the mitigation measures put in place.

“I’m at the stage now as MP for Weaver Vale and I know Cllr Sam Naylor is the same. We’ve had enough because residents have had enough so they shouldn’t have a permit to operate anymore.”

Speaking afterwards, the MP added: “I know some people have lost faith in the process and have stopped reporting incidents because this has been going on so long.

“But it would be really helpful if residents can contact the Environment Agency whenever there is an odour, ideally at the time, to shine a light on what the community is enduring.”

Northwich Guardian: Councillor Sam Naylor and MP Mike AmesburyCouncillor Sam Naylor and MP Mike Amesbury (Image: Mike Amesbury)

Mr Amesbury and Cllr Naylor are asking residents and businesses to report every odour incident to the EA.

The agency claims there is insufficient evidence to justify action against the plant, operated by parent company Ørsted, while an Odour Management Plan should be completed by the end of the year, ensuring the company is using the best available technology.

During the meeting, Cllr Naylor responded: “Five years down the line, how many opportunities do you give them to get it right? You have to draw the line somewhere.”

He added: “There’s 50 houses being built next door to Oakmere Toyota, right in the line of fire of the plant. Let’s see what they say, once you get those houses occupied.”

An Ørsted spokesperson said that while they look to address any concerns raised, the source of the smell is not always their fault.

They said: “We have been actively working with our local stakeholders and the EA to respond to concerns, acting rapidly and investigating complaints of odour at source, as well as at complainants' locations.

"Each time, we investigate thoroughly and sometimes we have been able to link an odour to our site but this is not always the case.

"Regularly, there are occasions when there is no issue on site, leaving us unable to take responsibility for other sources of odour. 

"We have remained in close communication with our neighbours throughout, ensuring they are aware of maintenance and planned improvements that are being carried out at site. 

"We absolutely recognise the frustration and although we have made significant progress, we remain committed to continue solving the situation, investing in state-of-the-art odour abatement and working with our neighbours and the EA to keep them informed."

An Environment Agency spokeswoman said: "We are aware of occasional complaints of odour from the Renescience waste treatment plant in Northwich. 

"We have not always been able to verify complaints of odour when undertaking investigations, however we continue to monitor the situation under our regulatory role.

"At the Environment Agency, we are committed to following up any reports of odour and we routinely regulate the site, including unannounced visits, to do remote odour checks.

"We take reports of odours at permitted waste sites very seriously and recognise the concern and nuisance it can cause to local communities.

"We encourage the community to report their concerns directly to us via our incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60 so we can investigate further."