Page last updated at 16:52 GMT, Monday, 19 January 2009

Firm fined 140,000 over smells

A firm whose Lincolnshire factory emitted smells which left residents feeling ill has been fined 140,000.

Lincoln Crown Court heard how people living near the HL Foods Ltd plant in Long Sutton were also unable to invite friends and family to their homes.

The Environment Agency said problems in 2007, stemming from a faulty effluent plant, were not properly addressed.

The firm admitted two charges under the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations.

Lives 'blighted'

The court heard that in October 2007 smells like rotting cabbages prompted Environment Agency officers to visit the site, where they were told a waste water unit had developed a fault.

The firm was then advised to reduce production to cut down on the amount of waste.

But residents' complaints continued, and the company was charged after a second visit to the factory found the situation had not improved.

Four months later, following reports of a smell like rotting eggs, investigations showed the plant was now suffering from a different fault.

HL Foods Ltd said the effluent plant was operated by contractors, but as a result of the problems it now planned to run it itself.

Also ordering the company to pay 4,421 in costs, Judge John Machin said residents had been left "powerless" while their lives were blighted.

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