Misson residents protest against mushroom farm

Mushroom farm protestors from Misson who are running a Zero Smell campaign, descended on Worksop Town Hall to voice their concerns, pictured are the campaigners in biological warfare style suits (w120416-2b)

Mushroom farm protestors from Misson who are running a Zero Smell campaign, descended on Worksop Town Hall to voice their concerns, pictured are the campaigners in biological warfare style suits (w120416-2b)

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Protesters donned protective masks and boiler suits outside Worksop Town Hall last Wednesday to pressure councillors over the ‘pungent’ smell from Newington Farm in Misson.

Residents in Bawtry, Misson and Everton, many of whom have breathing difficulties, have long complained of the smell from the farm, which produces more than 80,000 tonnes of compost for mushrooms every year.

Mushroom farm protestors from Misson who are running a Zero Smell campaign, descended on Worksop Town Hall to voice their concerns, pictured are the campaigners in biological warfare style suits (w120416-2a)

Mushroom farm protestors from Misson who are running a Zero Smell campaign, descended on Worksop Town Hall to voice their concerns, pictured are the campaigners in biological warfare style suits (w120416-2a)

More than 20 protesters gathered outside a Bassetlaw Council planning meeting where councillors approved measures aimed at reducing the smell.

But protester Cath Williamson said she does not believe the new machinery, which includes two dirty water tanks and a bio-filter, will be effective.

She believes the level of emissions is too high for the machinery to make a real difference.

Cath, of the Zero Smell campaign, said: “When you have these readings, the abatement measures are not going to stop the smell.

“Our neighbours have had breathing difficulties, but there’s never been enough research into the health issues.

“Their breathing conditions improve when they go away.”

Residents have complained that they cannot open their windows, sit in their gardens or hang their clothes outside.

She said that environmental health officers at Bassetlaw Council have said that villagers have suffered from high stress levels as a result of living with the smell.

The compost produced at the plant is composed of chicken manure and is used to grow more than 90 per cent of the mushrooms grown in the UK.

Bassetlaw MP John Mann has campaigned for residents against the smell and the Health Protection Agency has previously investigated links between the smell and residents suffering from lung disease.

In 2009, Mann said: “People’s lives in Misson and Everton and surrounding areas lives are still plagued by the unpleasant and overwhelming fumes from the mushroom farm.

“They have no control over the situation, its totally unacceptable and its been made worse because its now turned into a life threatening health issue.”

Simon Middlebrook of Tunnel Tech was at the meeting and said he was delighted that the plans had been given the green light.

He said: “I was very pleased that they granted planning permission to allow us to move this forward. The plans were in relation to reducing the emissions from the process.”