A COMPANY at the centre of a long-running wrangle over noise and odour complaints at its animal rendering plant could have its operating permit suspended under a recommendation by Bradford councillors.

Omega Proteins Ltd which runs the Erlings Works at Thornton has been subjected to action from Bradford Council officers for years as a result of complaints from those living nearby.

Bradford Council's scrutiny committee for the environment heard an update from officials last night on action taken by the firm to start work on constructing a new bio filter which should help control smells from the plant and also on constructing a shed for vehicle which deliver animal products to the site.

But they also heard from residents who explained their experiences living close to the plant, including Susan Wilson who told the meeting the smell was sometimes so bad she had to mask her face while out walking her dog in fields nearby.

"We cannot have doors or windows open and I often have to walk my dog with a scarf over my mouth," she said.

"It is nine months since this committee met and nothing has changed," she said.

There were also complaints of noise from processes carried out at the plant.

Council officers said told the meeting they were required to work with strict legal guidelines but had made many visits to the area this year and had distributed 80 diaries for people to record their experiences this summer, with 14 of those being returned.

Coun Simon Cooke said the company could resolve the problem by "stopping stinking the place out".

The meeting was told planning permission for the vehicle shed had been granted in 2011 but it was not yet constructed, though Omega Proteins' solicitor Veronica Shackleton said it could not be built for practicality reasons until the new bio filter had been constructed.

However, independent Cllr David Robinson raised a recommendation, approved by the committee, that Bradford Council's ruling Executive should "consider taking action to suspend the permit to operate until environmental health are clear that all regulations are adhered to in the permit to operate in line with the advice given by the council's legal representative."

The committee also recommended "their disappointment that works identified to improve the situation at the plant have not been carried out by Omega Proteins Ltd".

In addition they recommended council staff continue to investigate complaints and take enforcement action as appropriate.

Councillors are also asking that consideration is given to barring lorries from using a junction at Well Heads and Brighouse and Deholme Road until engineering changes can be made at the junction.

Ms Shackleton told the meeting that Omega Proteins had co-operated fully with the council in attempting to resolve issues raised and had gone "over and above" what was required in providing information.