During the spring and in the summer after harvesting, we sometimes receive complaints concerning agricultural odours within the district. One of the widest permeating sources of odour complaints relate to the storing and spreading of bio-solids (sewage sludge), animal manure and slurries (muck spreading). The general practice of incorporating manures and bio-solids into agricultural land is a legitimate practice and is considered the best option for disposal. The spreading of pre-treated sewage sludge is also a perfectly lawful activity and considered the best practicable environmental option for disposal of such wastes.
Although spreading is recognised as standard agricultural practice, and odour must be expected from time to time, spreading should always be undertaken in accordance with the best practice guidance.
As there is a great deal of working farmland in Leicestershire, agricultural odours can be a problem with prevailing winds, carrying these odours some distance across fields into residential areas and at times this may result in acceptable short term agricultural odours within the area. The duration and intensity of the odour is often difficult to predict depending on weather conditions. However, if we become aware of unacceptable odours produced by spreading agricultural materials in a manner which does not follow the Code of Good Agricultural Practice, an officer will contact the person(s) responsible for the spreading and enforcement action can be considered where the issue cannot be resolved informally.