ACTION is being taken by chicken farm after residents’ odour complaints were taken to the authorities.

Residents who live near Newbridge Farm, in East Huntspill, say they have been complaining to the Environment Agency for months about the smell coming from the business which they describe as "unbearable."

The Environment Agency is working with operator, Hook 2 Sisters, which owns the farm, in a bid to reduce the smell.

A spokesman for Hook 2 Sisters said: "We have been talking consistently with the Environment Agency to resolve matters since we were first made aware of residents’ complaints.

"We are putting in place odour management measures which we hope will resolve the matter for the next cycle.

"We know there are issues and we are doing our best to resolve them. We are spending a considerable amount of money on the ventilation system."

Resident Julia Stanbury, who has lived in the area for a number of years, said she sometimes finds it difficult to leave her home because the smell is so pungent.

"We have been reporting the horrible smell to the Environment Agency for 15 months now," Julia said.

"Last year we could not even open our windows as the smell is so bad – sometimes we can't even go out of the house.

"In the summer the smell is just horrendous. If you open your windows it comes in and makes the house smell.

"It is totally unacceptable.

"A number of residents in Burnham-on-Sea have contacted me and said they can smell it there – its unbearable here."

A senior officer from The Environment Agency said the organisation has been working with the operator to identify the cause of the smell and reduce its impact on residents.

"The Environment Agency are aware of, and have substantiated odour complaints originating from Newbridge Farm Poultry Unit," the senior officer said.

"Over the past few months the operator has been working to identify root causes and mitigation techniques to help reduce the impact of the farm on the local residents.

"Recently the site has experimented with feed formulations and a reduction in bird numbers.

"It was planned to make alterations to the ventilation system but the planning permission needed to be able to extend the chimneys on the roofs was recently refused due to local objections and visual impact.

"As a result the Operator, Hook 2 Sisters, is now being asked to provide additional methods and techniques to reduce odour impact."