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Fuming residents in Edmonton demand action over 'appalling' stench from Thames Water plant
Disgruntled residents kicked up a stink about Thames Water last night as a petition of more than 2,200 signatures was delivered to Enfield Borough Council.
In a heated meeting at Green Towers Community Centre in Edmonton Green, campaigner Claire Whetstone put forward the concerns of residents living close to the Deephams Sewage Works vicinity about an "absolutely appalling" stench.
Ms Whetstone, who works at the Enfield Children and Young Persons Services charity on the Claverings Industrial Estate next to the plant, said: "We are not hardcore eco-warriors. We are normal people who want to enjoy barbecues in the summer."
Mark Matthews, Thames Water's town planning manager, attempted to calm concerns by stating that the odour had decreased by 15 per cent in the last 18 months, with a further £200million predicted to be spent on the problem as part of redevelopment plans.
It remains unclear how much will go towards eliminating the smell, but residents called for a total eradication of the fumes, which they say affect their quality of life.
Nesimi Erbil, 44, of Nightingale Road next to the works, said: "Councillors do not know what it is like to live here.
“In the morning when my children wake up, they cannot open the windows. When they walk to school, they have to pinch their nose."
Edmonton MP Andy Love has been backing the ‘Stop the Stink’ campaign.
He said: “I hope the petition will encourage Enfield Council to take residents’ concerns seriously and to ensure Thames Water looks again at improving how sludge is digested so we can all live in an odour-free Edmonton.”
The redevelopment aims to improve the quality of water coming from the plant as well as improvements to way in which sludge is treated, leading to odour reductions.
However, Ms Whetstone remained cautious about progress after the meeting.
She said: "We need to speak to people higher up the food chain at Thames Water. They have to respect our situation."
The council's overview and scrutiny committee has endorsed the petition and will take the matter to full council early next month to decide how to best take residents' concerns forward.
Thames Water said they will take these issues forward to OfWat, whose funding is key to the economic viability of the project. They refused an invitation to attend the meeting.
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