Woolpit whiff farmer 'a polluter'

A PARISH council chairman has branded Woolpit whiff farmer John Clarke a 'polluter' during a public inquiry.Woolpit Parish Council chairman John Guyler, a resident for nearly 30 years, criticised Mr Clarke during the final day of a public inquiry yesterday and said the village was "stained" because of his activities.

A PARISH council chairman has branded Woolpit whiff farmer John Clarke a 'polluter' during a public inquiry.

Woolpit Parish Council chairman John Guyler, a resident for nearly 30 years, criticised Mr Clarke during the final day of a public inquiry yesterday and said the village was "stained" because of his activities.

The inquiry is being held as Mr Clarke tries to overturn a Mid Suffolk District Council planning decision stopping him using existing cooking machinery for rendering to create fertilizer at his Rookery Farm in Drinkstone near Stowmarket.

Mr Gulyer's comments come after it was revealed that Mr Clarke is trying to have his entire farm included in the Local Plan as a possible housing or business development, which could end any potential of further smell misery for good.

Mr Guyler said: "The Woolpit whiff, as it is known by the media, is a disgusting, nauseating, foul stench which comes from Mr Clarke's establishment at Rookery Farm.

"The name of Woolpit is stained with this label. Businesses are averse to starting up here and people are reluctant to move to a home down the prevailing wind from Drinkstone.

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"Huge flocks of seagulls are attracted to Rookery Farm for the rich pickings of offal to be had. Woolpit Cricket Club regularly finds chicken bones on its field where they have been dropped by gulls returning to the sea for the night.

"Mr Clarke effectively puts forward the ridiculous argument that the district council should not have allowed new houses and business to be built within range of the smell.

"What right has he, the polluter, to decide where new development takes place? Does he expect the council to create a "cordon sanitaire'' around the site? Most people who complain about his activities live in houses which were there long before Rookery Farm had its first pig.

"John Clarke has a complete disregard for the rules and regulations which the rest of us take for granted.''

The inquiry has heard from representatives and witnesses for both Mr Clarke and the council, and from local parish councils and residents. Mr Clarke argues he needs to be allowed to diversify in the wake of the collapse of the pig industry and said he has lost thousands of pounds during the farming crisis.

The district council argue that his rendering bid to create fertilizer is an industrial activity, unsuited to the countryside.

Inspector Peter Watson is expected to reach a decision within seven weeks.

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