Expert brought in at West Norfolk factory to investigate ‘mystery smell’

Elizabeth Truss MP, left, touring the Cornerways Nursery with British Sugar managing director Paul Kenward, as well as Downham Market and Stoke Ferry councillors. Photo: SUBMITTED.
Elizabeth Truss MP, left, touring the Cornerways Nursery with British Sugar managing director Paul Kenward, as well as Downham Market and Stoke Ferry councillors. Photo: SUBMITTED.

An odour consultant has been enlisted at a sugar factory in West Norfolk to investigate an unusual smell that it is thought could be coming from there.

British Sugar in Wissington has brought in the specialist to see whether a reported cannabis scent is coming from the Cornerways Nursery at the site which recently started producing a plant in the cannabis family for medicinal purposes.

South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss visited the premises this week and raised concerns that the odour could be coming from the nursery after British Sugar decided to swap the production of tomatoes to growing the plant which can be used in medicine to treat childhood epilepsy.

She said: “The recent harvest of the specialist crop was the first one to come from Cornerways Nursery, near Wissington, and with the process generally taking about four to five weeks, there is the potential for strong smells to linger for quite a few days.”

British Sugar do not want to create problems for local residents, she added.

“I certainly want to see changes, where needed, implemented as quickly as possible.

“An environmental specialist and odour consultant have been engaged to investigate the issues raised and if necessary, investment will be made in appropriate odour control equipment.

“I think everyone recognises the importance of the work done at the factory but it should not adversely impact on the surrounding towns and villages, subsequently I have asked British Sugar to keep me updated on developments.”

A spokeswoman for British Sugar said the firm had not been processing material since Friday, June 23, but was aware of the concerns of residents across a wide area of Norfolk and was now investigating to understand if the reports relate to their operations.

She said: “As part of the harvesting process at our horticultural operations there can be a smell for intermittent periods of time. We have been extremely mindful of this when looking at the various processes on site to minimise any impact on the local community during this time.

“As part of our investigation we will look at any measures we can implement during our operations to reduce the intensity and impact of any smell this could cause.”