Two 21m high flues at a Kelbrook factory, described as “a blight on the landscape”, have been approved by councillors.
Euravia in Colne Road had applied to construct one aluminium alloy flue and extend another to the same height at its aircraft engine testing facility to deal with an odour issue in Kelbrook.
A planning report presented to Pendle Council’s West Craven Committee said the council had an odour control consultant undertake an assessment in October, 2014.
One recommendation which came from it was to increase the stack heights to “reduce the number of odour incidents by almost 80%” which Pendle Council considered an “acceptable level”.
That meant it met the requirements of “best practicable means” and therefore the application had a recommendation for approval.
Coun. Rosemary Carroll said it was a “tough” decision but moved to approve the application which was passed unanimously.
Coun. Carroll said: “It’s going to be a blight on the landscape but we want to get rid of the smell.”
The plan had attracted eight objections, including one from Kelbrook and Sough Parish Council, which stated “that the option of raising the stack would not solve the problem of odour nuisance” and that “there is a severe detriment to visual amenity in the residential community”.
The parish council also objected on grounds of “incomplete consultation of local residents”, with only those living adjacent to the site informed by letter and not all residents who had complained in the past about the odour.
Speaking at the meeting, Coun. Paul Maskell, Chairman of Kelbrook and Sough Parish Council, said “quite a number of the complaints have come from quite a considerable distance away” and with Kelbrook in a basin, he hoped the problem would not simply be dispersed to neighbouring villages of Earby, Salterforth and Sough.
Elizabeth Crabtree, objecting, said the chimneys would be “visible for miles around” and that it seemed “totally unacceptable” for the stacks to receive planning permission.
She said a thermal oxidiser would secure a “better result” in dealing with the odour issues and said it was “risking the health and wellbeing of West Craven people”.
Another objector, Valerie Kimberley, said there had been a “steady stream of complaints” over a three-and-a-half year period and that she “doesn’t go outside when the odour is noticeable”.
Coun. Carroll had called for the decision to be deferred to allow a meeting between the council, residents and Euravia “to see if we can find a better solution”.
But with the application already beyond the time limit for a decision, Chairman of the Committee, Coun. David Whipp, pressed for a vote saying the company could go to appeal.
Coun. Whipp said: “Dialogue can continue and should continue between Environmental Health, residents and the company.”