Whiff farmer hopeful of winning dispute

AS an inquiry surrounding the Woolpit Whiff comes to an end, the farmer at the centre of the saga said he is hopeful of winning the dispute. John Clarke, whose business is allegedly responsible for the notorious smells, is appealing against a High Court ruling which forced him to close a fertiliser factory.

AS an inquiry surrounding the Woolpit Whiff comes to an end, the farmer at the centre of the saga said he is hopeful of winning the dispute.

John Clarke, whose business is allegedly responsible for the notorious smells, is appealing against a High Court ruling which forced him to close a fertiliser factory.

Mid Suffolk District Council applied for the closure after becoming concerned there was a shift in operations at the farm, from agricultural to a solely industrial business.

Last year, an injunction was granted preventing Mr Clarke from continuing to use his premises at Drinkstone, near Bury St Edmunds, for industrial rendering, claiming that unpleasant odours are caused when poultry offal is cooked down at the site.


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Mr Clarke is seeking to get the court's decision overturned and the findings of a public inquiry, which concluded at the council offices in Needham Market on Friday, will form the basis of a report compiled by independent planning inspector Douglas Morden.

Over the years, residents in Woolpit say their lives have been blighted by the foul odour that emanated from Mr Clarke's operation.

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The High Court ruling, granted by Mr Justice Newman, came into force on May 9 last year, giving relief to villagers.

But Mr Clarke, speaking outside the inquiry, said: “Everybody locally is aware what we are doing and no-one was at the inquiry from the general public.

“I have never done anything illegal down there and we are not operating illegally. I am hopeful we will win.”

The Secretary of State's decision is expected next month .

n. Were you affected by the Woolpit Whiff? Do you thing the decision should be overturned? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email starnews@eveningstar.co.uk

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