Supermarket abbatoir noise is driving Colne neighbours to distraction

Residents outside the Woodheads abbatoir in Colne
Residents outside the Woodheads abbatoir in Colne

Residents living near to an abbatoir in Colne have complained that noise coming from the factory is like a "helicopter hanging over our houses".


Neighbours living in the Burnley Road area of Colne, near to the Woodhead Brothers Meat Co abattoir, say they are at the end of their tether with the noise which has been coming from a new operation at the factory since Easter.

The noise consists of a loud humming noise which can be heard almost all the time. It rises and falls and is often most noticeable at night.

The abbatoir is owned by and provides the meat for supermarket giant Morrisons.

Residents have now met with a number of Waterside Liberal Democrat councillors as well as Colne Town Councillor Liz Hurley, who also lives nearby.

She said: “The Environment Agency is responsible for regulating both noise and air pollution from the factory, and has been over to check. Problems of smell have been going on for decades.”

Pendle Borough Councillor Alice Mann said she was surprised just how far the noise travelled to these rows of houses.

Her Pendle Council colleague Coun. Tony Greaves has asked for the problem to be brought to Pendle Council’s Colne and District area committee to see what pressure they can put on to get the matter resolved.

He said: “Woodheads provide the meat for Morrisons, who ought to be embarrassed by the problems this factory is causing.”

Mrs Jennifer Jenkins, of Burnley Road, said: “It seems like a helicopter hanging over our house.”

Her neighbour Mrs Linda Lancaster said: “It’s atrocious. We have complained but nothing is being done. We can hear it over the TV.”

Melonie Green of Chad Street, which faces directly on to the factory, said: “I have to wear earplugs at night, or I can’t sleep for the noise.”

Terry Noon of Burnley Road said that a lady from Woodheads had been up to see them about six weeks ago after they complained, and told them that the noise was “unacceptable.” But nothing had happened. He said: “They don’t seem to know where it is coming from”.

Residents say there is also a very longstanding problem of unpleasant odours from the abattoir. People wishing to register complaints to the Environment Agency about noise or odours should phone their freephone number 0800 80 70 60.

A spokesman for Morrisons said: "We are working closely with local residents and the Environment Agency to resolve this issue."