People claim health affected by dust at Shoreham Port

People living near a Sussex port claim their health is being affected by sawdust from a wood chip processing plant based there.

Residents and business owners in Portslade have said the dust blows over from Shoreham Port.

The wood chips are loaded on to ships bound for Scandinavia.

A spokesman for Stobart Biomass, which runs the plant, said the company does not believe the problem originates at their facility.

Calvin Oram, who runs HCS Car Spares near Shoreham Port, claims his asthma has been made worse since the plant started work in Spring 2011.

'Burning nose and eyes'

"By the time I get home in the evening I'm restricted and have pains in my chest and burning nose and eyes," he said.

"We've been on this site for 15 years, we're used to dust, sand and all the aggregates [from the port], but it's not that."

Peter Davies, development director of Shoreham Port Authority, said the authority acknowledged there was a problem and they were working hard to resolve it.

"We've talked to quite a few local people and businesses and they recognise that we're a busy port and they also accept that there's some dust due to the nature of the products we handle." he said.

'Practical measures'

"However, they have said since the wood chip operation started this year there's been a notable increase."

A spokesman for Stobart Biomass said the company adheres strictly to all necessary Environment Agency regulations.

He added the company and the port authority had invested more than £40,000 in practical measures, such as installing a sprinkler and a windbreak to limit any dust blowing off their wood chip pile.

"We believe any current problem being experienced by local residents is not originating from our biomass pile," he said.

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