Council turns the heat on spice factory

Greenford company to clean up their act

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Spicy factory smells get right up council's nose


A food company producing samosas and onion bhajis has been fined £140,000 after Ealing Council took them to court for failing to deal with the spicy smells coming from its factory.  


It's belived to be the largest fine won by Ealing in recent times and one of the biggest in London for odour pollution.    


Syed Afzaal Hussain, a director of Spurway Foods based in Greenford Industrial Park in Oldfield Lane, pleaded guilty, on behalf of the company, in Ealing Magistrates Court on Friday 20th May to ten counts of odour pollution under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.  


Each charge was related to a complaint received by the council's environmental protection team which resulted in a series of council and independent investigations into the offending factory smells.  


The council gave Spurway foods numerous opportunities to comply with the Act.   However, despite assurances from Spurway to deal with the problem and installing a filter system, the smells remained.  


Complaints to the council from residents described the odours as 'incredibly sickening', 'overpowering and unpleasant'.   Residents living up to 830 meters away were affected by the smells as well as some other factories on the industrial estate including Tetley Tea.  


Cllr John Delaney, cabinet member for streets and the environment, said: " We think this is one of the biggest fines given to business for odour pollution in London.   The smells had become so bad some residents were unable to open their windows or use the local park, because they'd be hit with these pungent, spicy odours.


"This case demonstrates that businesses must operate responsibly and when residents and ourselves tell them there's a problem they listen and act fast.   We're now going to be making sure that this factory cleans up its act."


In his defence Mr Hussain said they had installed a new filter system.   He also said he'd be unable to afford a fine of £140,000.   The court has set a payments scheme to enable the fine to be paid.   


Costs of £11,000 were awarded to Ealing Council.  


June 13, 2005