Omega Proteins claims 'unfair scrutiny' by Council

A controversial animal rendering plant claims Bradford Council is unfairly scrutinising its business because of “political pressure”, councillors have been told.

Omega Proteins, at Erlings Works, has long been accused by residents of causing foul smells in Denholme and Thornton, though the company insists it fully complies with relevant law and regulation.

The site was discussed at a meeting of the Council’s environment and waste management overview and scrutiny committee last night, where company spokesman Richard Chew read out a statement on behalf of the firm.

He said despite complaints from residents about alleged out-of-hours HGV movements, in the past 18 months not one breach had been observed.

He said: “There appears to be an immediate willingness to believe any accusations and allegations made against the company but not the same level of enthusiasm for supporting the company in respect of unfounded allegations.”

Mr Chew strongly denied an allegation made by environmental health and planning officers that rendering has been taking place on a Sunday in breach of a planning condition. He said the Council had refused to share the findings of its investigation with the company.

He said: “Bradford Council’s enforcement officer appears to be responding and reacting to political pressure rather than focusing on the current facts.”

In response, ward councillor Simon Cooke (Con, Bingley Rural) said he found it “a little off for the firm to suggest that me doing my job as a councillor is undue political pressure”.

He added: “What I really want is for them to come to the table with a big smile and an acknowledgement that they are causing a problem, and we can go from there.”

Councillor Val Slater, the Council’s executive member of transport, said: “We don’t put on political pressure. We just wanted that said quite clearly.”

Committee chairman Councillor Martin Love said: “This committee is made up of five political groupings. We are always unanimous, as far as this issue is concerned.”

Lynette Cadamarteri, of pressure group Stop Omega Stink, said it had made repeated attempts to re-open the dialogue with the company.

She said: “I wanted to ensure that everyone in this room understands we do want to resolve this issue. We are tired and we want a life.”

The committee resolved to discuss the site again in six months’ time.

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