Stop the Stink campaign launched in Tonbridge

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By Tonbridge Courier | Friday, September 13, 2013, 08:00

A CAMPAIGN has been launched to "Stop The Stink" in Tonbridge.

The town's Action Group have said they have received an "overwhelming" amount of support from the public after starting a campaign to stop deodorant factory Drytec emitting a sickly sweet smell across the town.

The Morley Road business, which has been in Tonbridge for more than three decades, has faced an increasing amount of complaints over its emissions.

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council's environmental health department is currently in talks with the company to find a solution.

Meanwhile campaigners have started petitioning residents, at the Watergate on Saturday and at Tonbridge Farmers' Market on Sunday, and have already collected 400 signatures.

They want to gain at least 1,500 names to secure a debate at full council.

Howard Porter said: "The amount of public anger over this issue is quite astonishing, but the borough council don't appear to have registered the depth of feeling.

"The damage this persistent stink has done to the reputation of the town and to the morale of local people is immense when, really, all they have asked for is that Drytec acts as a good neighbour and the council discharges its responsibility, as it would do if an individual was causing this level of nuisance."

George Niklas added: "Residents are relieved that at last there is now a positive voice representing the community on this issue, and we are surprised at the amount of people whose lives have been affected.

"All we want is for the smell to stop and be able to enjoy our homes and town free of this nuisance."

Leaflets are being given out urging residents to take action if they are concerned about the persistent odour.

The group has asked to know what chemicals make up the emissions and for the borough council to take "effective action" if Drytec does not cooperate fully.

Tonbridge and Malling borough councillor Owen Baldock said the authority was working to solve the issue but it took time for legal processes to be carried out.

He said: "Drytec making smells, yes it is a nuisance, we're not denying that, but before we can actually call it a statutory nuisance - which is a legal definition - there are all sorts of hoops to get through.

"If we were to go in all guns blazing, we would have a multi-million pound law suit on our hands, and I don't think Tonbridge ratepayers would want that.

"Drytec are still installing filtering devices and there are 24 hour monitoring systems in place. Council officers are in the town every day.

"The council is working very hard, nobody's trying to brush it under the carpet."

Residents have also raised concerns about whether the chemicals in the emissions could affect their health. But Mr Baldock insisted the odours were safe.

He said: "The products are used in ready meals and toothpastes. They're edible materials. Yes, it's a nasty smell, but there are no health implications."

E-mail for a copy of the petition.



  • Profile image for Trippz

    I am an Ecology student at the University of Greenwich, iv offered to investigate the situation as part of my Degree, to find out if there is any damage and harm in these chemicals, one of the best ways is to study the sourrounding enviroment and wildlife, amoung other things i can do, river, air and wildlife surveys as well as a questionaire for anyone concerened.

    id love to find out if there is damage being done or if its just people windgeing about the smell of blueberries.

    All data will be published and once i am finished i'd be happy to share the results with whoever, even Drytech.

    By Trippz at 13:09 on 03/12/13

  • Profile image for stopsmells

    Actually to quote Councillor Baldock correctly there is "absolutely no concern". "It's an irritation," he said. "It's not nice, it's not nasty." This is from someone who doesn't have to go indoors from their garden or be woken up at night as the smell is so strong and offensive because - he doesn't even live in Tonbridge !!!

    By stopsmells at 20:51 on 22/09/13

  • Profile image for stopsmells

    Yet again Drytec is blighting Tonbridge. The offensive emissions are making people feel sick and stopping people enjoying their property and gardens. Why don't Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council act ? Even Councillor Baldock on BBC TV has stated its a nuisance. They know that Drytec are the culprits... Do we really want Drytec in Tonbridge destroying its reputation ? Just look at the news and "this is Kent" articles on this Site. a) hundreds of residents complaining of the offensive emissions - many feeling sick b) a recent explosion and fire at Drytec - a well run company c) mysterious death of a Drytec employee ? Do I need to say more ?

    By stopsmells at 10:09 on 21/09/13

  • Profile image for adam6177

    I cant believe how sad this whole situation is. My family and I love the smell it casts over Tonbridge, much better than the sewerage works on a summers day.

    I really pity the people that have raised this petition, I would never sign it. Surely there is more to life?

    By adam6177 at 11:13 on 18/09/13

  • Profile image for KH516

    Well I've lived in Tonbridge for over 30 years and have only smelt this in Morley Road. Is it coincidence that this is only getting publicity now houses are being built basically in the "industrial estate"?

    "The damage this persistent stink has done to the reputation of the town and to the morale of local people is immense" - over-exaggerating things a bit aren't you Howard Porter? If anything is damaging the reputation it is the decaying high street and appalling traffic congestion. Any reputation over Drytec would be down to press and pressure groups making a big thing about it?

    By KH516 at 23:15 on 14/09/13


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