UK’s stinkiest place named as city receives nearly 1,000 smell complaints

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    The UK’s smelliest place has been revealed.

    Stoke-on-Trent City Council received 860 smell complaints last year – more than any other authority in the country.

    It was closely followed in a top 10 list of the stinkiest places in the UK by Birmingham, Westminster, Leeds and Swindon.

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    Claire Watson, an odour expert at Airmatic, which conducted the study, warned how bad smells can be hellish for our health, saying: “Odour complaints are a direct result of air pollution in an area.

    “This can have a negative effect on the health and well-being of the residents in such areas with them breathing in air pollutants.

    “These can enter our bloodstream and contribute to coughing or itchy eyes and cause or worsen many respiratory conditions.

    “Aside from the physical health impacts, there are also the negative mental effects on residents living day to day exposed to such odours.”

    Also making the list was Portsmouth, Bradford and Nottingham, as well as three London boroughs – Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea plus Bexley – which racked up 1,694 complaints between them.

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    North Yorkshire enjoyed the fewest number of odour complaints at 42, closely followed by East Riding of Yorkshire with 66 complaints.

    Norwich, meanwhile, is staking a claim to be the nicest-smelling location as it had zero reports of bad smells.

    Environment Agency permits are needed for businesses, such as those that work in manufacturing, agriculture and energy sectors, that do an activity which pollutes the air, water or land.

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    The West Midlands and London were the top two places with the highest number of smell complaints about businesses working in these sectors.

    There was one complaint for every 28 businesses operating in the three sectors West Midlands, and one complaint for every 54 in London.

    In 2022, the Daily Star reported how an overwhelming stench has affected a town so badly that the mystery stink is making kids puke in the street.

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    Such a uniquely miserable smell has made life for the residents of Bordesley Green, Birmingham "unbearable".

    One resident even complained that they were constantly itching ever since the smell wafted through the windows of his home, with the strange stench yet to be resolved for those unlucky enough to get a whiff of the street.


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