Calls for Labour Party intervention over controversial abattoir

FIGHT CONTINUES: Residents of Boosbeck protesting against the re-opening of a slaughterhouse on the high-street.

FIGHT CONTINUES: Residents of Boosbeck protesting against the re-opening of a slaughterhouse on the high-street.

First published in News Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to close down an east Cleveland slaughterhouse they maintain is ruining their quality of life have written to Labour North to complain about their council’s handling of their objections.

Neville Brown has been left frustrated by the Labour-led authority’s perceived inaction claiming they are more concerned about any financial fall-out from an enforced closure of the abattoir at Boosbeck rather than residents living in misery.

In the stinging email to Labour North, Mr Brown wrote: “We have a Labour council that has been hell-bent on putting money before people’s lives for the past two and a half years.

"As I am sure you are aware, there is a controversial abattoir in the middle of the village that has had no Environmental Impact Assessment, and is operating without restriction. This means that this abattoir can legally operate 23 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“This abattoir also has the capacity to slaughter around 8,000 sheep per week. Residents have witnessed terrible things such as sheep’s carcasses after their slaughter, their severed heads rolling about the yard while only living several metres away from the abattoir. Other nuisances such as constant fans buzzing throughout the night, a horrendous smell from uncovered trailers filled with dead sheep innards and guts have made our lives misery.”

Councillor David Williams tabled a motion to discontinue operations at the Banaras Halal Meats (BHM) slaughterhouse in June which was deferred to the council’s cabinet by its regulatory committee.

And last month the cabinet agreed to delay their decision until September, when a full report can be prepared, detailing any legal implications.

And Mr Brown is calling on Labour North to intervene in the dispute and resolve their complaints.

He wrote: “We did not want this to become a political war. But it has become inevitable with the size of the fight between villagers and this corrupt council.

“I myself have spoken to hundreds of people personally who have now said they will never vote Labour again after the way this council has treated the people of Boosbeck. We are extremely disappointed with their lack of accountability and transparency in this horrendous situation.”

George Dunning, leader of the council, has defended the authority’s handling of the investigation into the possible enforced closure of the site.

He said: “The council is being asked to close down a legitimate and lawful business that is operating with the proper permissions.

“We do understand the residents’ concerns but it should be noted that these permissions were granted before the nearby homes were built and remain in force.

“The Environmental Protection Team has investigated a noise complaint and is working with the operator to resolve it.

“A number of other complaints have been investigated but no statutory nuisance has been found that would justify closure.

“However, we have always accepted the situation is far from ideal and we are working with the operator to reach a satisfactory and lawful outcome.

“Reporting the issue to Labour Party North as a planning irregularity is an attempt to turn it into a party political issue and is not helpful.”

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