Brickworks allays concerns over ‘pollution’ complaint

The brickworks has been part of village life for more than 300 years
The brickworks has been part of village life for more than 300 years

Complaints about a ‘sulphurous odour’ said to emanate from a brickworks at Chailey have been the subject of an investigation.

One resident said it could be intense on some days and claimed it had affected his health, causing an inflamed respiratory tract.

He believed gaseous pollutants like oxides of sulphur and oxides of nitrogen were being released into the air as part of the manufacturing process when the bricks were fired.

But Ibstock Brick said it had found no cause for concern at its South Chailey brickworks.

An Ibstock spokesperson said in a statement: “The brickworks at Chailey is a very long-established business and we wish to remain a good neighbour and employer within the local community we have operated in for more than 300 years.

“Following issues raised about smoke and odour from the factory, we undertook some internal investigations to try to understand the concerns.

“We have worked closely with the Environmental Health Officer (EHO) who has been fully engaged and supportive throughout.

“We have invested significant time, money and effort and the overall findings have found no cause for concern. We have also offered to meet with the complainant in order to try to better understand the concerns raised.”

A spokesperson for Lewes District Council said: “An environmental health officer attended the site in February as part of a routine monitoring visit.

“Ibstock are implementing an Odour Management Plan and have carried out odour dispersion modelling using an independent testing company.

“The vast majority of readings are within Environment Agency benchmarks. Additionally, we understand Ibstock are trialling a new brick-making mix to further reduce unpleasant odours.

“The company has stated its determination to reduce emissions from the brick making process where it can.

“However, it is inevitable that on occasion odours from heavy industrial processes such as this will be more evident on some days than others. There are numerous factors for this, not least weather conditions, most notably wind direction.”