Oxford

Firm in £1m pledge to combat bad smell in Banbury

Paintbox Ltd building
Image caption The company spray-paints plastics including mobile phone covers

A paint company in Banbury has pledged to spend £1m on a carbon filtration system to help remove a bad smell that wafts over part of the town.

Paintbox Ltd has admitted to contributing to the odour affecting parts of the Grimsbury area.

Residents say the odour, which some describe as smelling like cat urine, has blighted their lives for several years.

Tony Baldry MP hosted a meeting on Thursday to try to resolve the problem.

More than 80 people attended the meeting at the Community Hall in Burchester Place, Grimsbury.

Resident Rodney Old said: "We've not been able to enjoy our gardens for seven years plus we still have the underlying concerns for health worries."

Independent study

Some people have described the smell as being similar to cat urine.

James Sharpe, managing director of Paintbox, said: "We've had an independent study done and it has come to light that there is a possibility that we are putting out something that may be contributing to the smells in Banbury.

"It's in very small amounts which would normally not be deemed to be a problem, however, we are clearly capable of putting something out so our current strategy for abating our smells is clearly not working.

"What we've decided to do is to invest a considerable amount of money into some new technology, into some filtration which will affectively remove all of the smells that could be possibly emitting from the building."

Mr Sharpe said the independent study had also looked into the health concerns raised by residents and had found that the company was 200 times below any international limit on materials coming out of the building.

He added that over the past 10 years, none of the 300 staff, who are regularly given health checks, had shown any health-related problems linked to working at the site.

Councillor Ann Bonner, of Cherwell District Council, said she was delighted the company had agreed to take action but others were more sceptical.

Carol Spackman, who has lived in the town for 17 years, said: "The plan that they are building is going to be a good one if it works and if it's maintained, and I think they have an obligation to do that because they are within 75 yards of our home and I think they owe it to the residents of the area."

The carbon filtration system is expected to take up to 18 weeks to be built and installed.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites