‘This horrible pong is making us unwell...’

Residents from Twyford Avenue who have been affected by the smell coming from Tipner. Left to right Andrew Hammond, Eric and Kim Wisniac, Tony Shevlin, Diane Lendrum and Jan Shevlin.  Picture: Steve Reid (123175-949)
Residents from Twyford Avenue who have been affected by the smell coming from Tipner. Left to right Andrew Hammond, Eric and Kim Wisniac, Tony Shevlin, Diane Lendrum and Jan Shevlin. Picture: Steve Reid (123175-949)
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A mystery pong coming from the Tipner redevelopment site in Portsmouth is upsetting residents.

People with homes on Twyford Avenue, Tipner Green and other nearby streets on the north-west side of Portsmouth say the smell is unbearable.

Neighbours claim they have been unwell from the fumes, which they say smells similar to that of tar and strong diesel. But Portsmouth City Council insists the odour is not harmful and that emission levels are being monitored.

The smell is a result of work being carried out by specialist construction company The Tamdown Group, on behalf of site owner Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), to decontaminate soil at the former PD Fuels site.

Work started in June and, following complaints from neighbours, 24-hour odour suppressants were installed and potentially odorous materials are now covered or mechanically sealed outside of working hours. But residents say it’s just not enough.

Andrew Hammond, of Twyford Avenue, said: ‘The smell is horrendous.

‘We can’t sit in the garden or open our windows or doors because it’s so disgusting. That’s no way to live.

‘Everyone I know around here says they have been dizzy or having lots of headaches. Even my dog’s sick.

‘It’s impacting on all of us, and we’re fed up with it.’

HCA has commissioned two separate environmental monitoring consultancies to test the emissions, both of which said there was minimal health risk to the public.

Environmental health experts at the council agree and are satisfied the site is being properly managed.

Seamus Meyer, the council’s strategic project manager for Tipner, said: ‘The work being carried out in Tipner has caused an unfortunate odour but we can reassure residents it is nothing harmful to their health.

‘We’ve been in consultation with the community and contractors since the issue was raised and have liaised with the HCA on taking extra measures to reduce it. Our biggest concern is always the public’s wellbeing and you can rest assured that we are closely monitoring the work to ensure any issues are minimised.’