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Composting company faces legal action over smell

Agrivert, the anaerobic digestion and in-vessel composting technology company, is facing legal action over claims of bad odour from one of its plants.

Agrivert opened a £5m composting plant at Ashgrove Farm in Ardley, near Bicester, Oxfordshire, in 2010.

More than 40 local people have instructed ‘no win, no fee’ solicitors Hugh James to take their case, in an echo of the Barr vs Biffa legal case in spring 2012, in which the legal firm represented 152 local residents in Ware complaining of odour from a landfill site.

The BBC reported a local resident describing the smell as worse than rotting cabbage, and saying that legal action was necessary to prevent future problems with the smell.

Gwen Evans a lawyer at Hugh James, told the Oxford Mail.: “The evidence we have seen suggests that residents have been exposed to an unacceptable level of odour from the green composting site. People in these circumstances are entitled to compensation for what they have suffered in the past, and an injunction to prevent the continuation of this nuisance in future.”

Agrivert said it was unable to comment on the legal action.

According to the Environment Agency’s (EA) November 2012 update recording odour incidents, there were 33 complaints about Agrivert in 2012 significantly down 254 in 2011. The EA added that of the calls in 2012 about odour, none was confirmed to come from the Agrivert site.

The Ardley plant recycles Cherwell and Oxford City council’s waste, making up 40% of food waste in Oxfordshire. Agrivert owns five organic waste plants in Oxfordshire.

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