A petition calling for a "dangerous" asphalt plant, which has reportedly been “compromising residents' health and wellbeing”, to improve odour control has gained nearly 900 signatures.
Since the FM Conway LTD plant opened in Hayes in 2014, residents have complained to Hillingdon and Ealing councils about the strong malodour and health problems that “appear to be linked to the air pollution" from the site.
The odour, which can be smelt in Southall and Hayes , has reportedly been making residents' lives “hell” and has meant nearby office workers choose not to leave the building “unless they can help it”.
By Tuesday (February 6) afternoon, a petition campaigning for FM Conway Ltd to improve odour control using both new and existing safety measures had gained 873 signatures.
The petition will now be presented to Ealing Council on February 20 at a full council meeting and has also been submitted to Hillingdon Council, but a petition hearing date is yet to be confirmed.
Angela Fonso, petition organiser and member of Insistent Residents Against Toxic Emissions (IRATE), called on Ealing and Hillingdon councils to "listen, act and defend the rights of the community".
She said: “Residents have reported nausea, vomiting, headaches, throat and eye irritation, new cases of asthma, worsening of existing asthma and other respiratory disorders.
"The community in Old Southall experience the odour all day, every day, not just on a transient bike journey through Southall. No rational person can regard this as a minor nuisance.
“As I opened my door this morning, I was greeted with the unmistakable odour of tar and felt anger.
"However, what makes me even angrier and what spurs me on, is that a member of the community was diagnosed with lung cancer and recently passed away.
“The family know it cannot be conclusively proven that the emissions from FM Conway were the cause of the cancer, but the noxious fumes were most certainly an unwelcome intrusion into their home, at a time when their loved one was terminally ill.”
According to Ms Fonso, FM Conway Ltd have increased the height of their chimney in Hayes but it did not resolve the problem.
Writing on the petition , Southall resident Mark Tarring said the asphalt plant has "made [his] life hell" and said it is "making a lot of people ill".
Mark Willmer added: "The smell is horrendous, it affects our daily lives and we are noticing health issues with coughs, nausea and more frequent headaches."
"This air is poisoning our families," Frances Scott wrote. "My daughter spent four days in hospital last week from an extreme asthma attack - tighten the enforcement of the laws."
Jennifer Davy said: "I've been working opposite this plant for the past year and it is disgusting walking outside or going anywhere. We stay inside at work unless we can help it."
Ranjit Sindhu also condemned the odour, and said: "I work in a school in the area, the smell is very strong in the school building. It affects the children and the adults working there."
Speaking to getwestlondon ahead of the Ealing Council meeting, Tim Metcalf, aggregates and asphalt director at FM Conway, said he is "aware of residents' concerns".
He said: “Our Heathrow plant is one of the most advanced asphalt manufacturing facilities of its kind in the UK and does not pose a hazard to the health of our workers or residents.
'We are aware of residents’ concerns'
“We continually invest in the plant to ensure it meets the highest industry standards. This includes installing a bespoke carbon filter system.
"As a result of this investment, emissions from the plant sit well below regulatory requirements. Only water vapour is emitted by the plant’s chimney stack.
“There are a number of other industrial and development sites within the Southall Green area and we’re keen to share our expertise and practices to minimise their impact on the local community.
“We are aware of residents’ concerns and the petition to Ealing Council. We have been speaking to Ealing councillors and Virendra Sharma MP, as well as to other local stakeholders about how we can best provide reassurance around the safety of the plant and its operations.”
To sign the petition, click here .
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