New injunction against farm odours

A SUFFOLK farmer whose farm is the source of the notorious “Woolpit Whiff” is today on the receiving end of a court injunction, potentially putting an end to the foul smells.

A SUFFOLK farmer whose farm is the source of the notorious “Woolpit Whiff” is today on the receiving end of a court injunction, potentially putting an end to the foul smells.

The long-running battle between farmer John Clarke and Mid Suffolk District Council was back in the High Court this week as Clarke continued to argue for the right to work at his rendering plant.

The council won its fight to apply for an injunction against Clarke at the High Court in April last year but the last nine-months have been clogged up by legal wranglings - including an unsuccessful attempt to appeal by Clarke.

Now Mr Justice Newman has given the council the injunction to stop his industrial rendering work, which is blamed for the foul smelling odours.

Clarke asked to submit new arguments but his request was rejected by Judge Newman.

A council spokesman said: “Mr Clarke may decide to appeal and in doing so may also apply for a stay to delay the implementation of the injunction.

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“Nevertheless, the council considers the judgement to be a significant step forward in the process to protect residents from the impact of Mr Clarke's unlawful activities.”

Mr Clarke, of Rookery Farm, Drinkstone, was originally granted permission to cook swill for his herd of pigs, but the livestock use ended in 2002 following the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

The council then claimed Mr Clarke breached the terms of his original agricultural planning permission by carrying on with rendering, after he took offal and other waste from food processing factories and converted it into fertiliser. This process was behind the odours and was blamed for falling house prices in the area.

The farmer claims he was only using the plant for agricultural use and was not flouting any rules.

When the court judgment is given in writing, expected within the next month, Clarke will have three months to stop industrial rendering before the injunction takes effect.

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