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Silvertown animal waste factory fined £120,000 for stench

PUBLISHED: 17:00 12 October 2012

Newham Council have hit an animal waste factory in Silvertown with a record fine of £120,000 with costs for causing a tremendous stench.

Believed to be the biggest fine ever achieved by a local authority for an offence of this nature, John Knight Ltd of Knights Road was found guilty of nine counts of failing to properly prevent emissions of offensive odours beyond the factory boundary in breach of its regulatory Environmental Permit.

They were also ordered to pay £66,150 in costs on top of the fine at Thames Magistrates’ Court on October 2.

During 2011, around 300 members of the public made formal complaints to the Council about the odours with one resident saying they ‘frequently noticed a smell which I describe as dog food, time expired food, and rotten meat. Sometimes I notice the smell on a daily basis, other times only occasionally during the week.’

John Knight Ltd, part of the de Mulder Group, have run the animal rendering plant in Silvertown for over a century, producing tallow (animal fat) and meat meal (in dried pet food) which requires a permit from the Council.

This is the third time the company have been prosecuted as they were fined £10,000 plus £10,500 costs in 2009 at Stratford Magistrate’s Court when a pile of rotting meal was left outside and they were fined £75,000 with £75,000 costs in 2011 for failing to control the odour from the factory.

Cllr Unmesh Desai, the Council’s executive for crime and anti-social behaviour, said: “We hope this acts as a strong deterrent.

“Businesses should not be carried on at the expense of local residents.

“Our residents have rights and one of them is to enjoy their lives in peace and without a nuisance.

“This is the third time we have taken John Knight to task and that’s three times too many in our book.

“The company needs to get its act together. Our residents should be able to live in their lives in comfort free from these foul smells.”


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