PEOPLE living in Rodbourne are fed up after being plagued for years by a mysterious vomit-like stench.

Now they are calling for answers.

They say the foul pong has become an even bigger problem since the start of the pandemic because shielding and Covid restrictions mean many of them can’t escape it.

Luke Parsons, of Bruce Street, told the Adver: “It’s been going on for about three years now and I think it’s coming from the Cheney Manor area. Every time I would cycle up through Cheney Manor I could smell it, it has been around more recently. It’s a weird smell. To me it smells like someone has mixed cheese and vomit together and set it on fire.

“It’s not nice at all. In the summer months when the weather is good, this year especially, it’s around a lot more. No one could sit in their gardens, windows and doors couldn’t be opened, it’s pretty bad. Some of my neighbours have told me they would hang out a clean wash and then they’d have to wash it again because their clothes smell.”

Luke, who has lived in the area for three decades, says despite complaints nothing has been done about the smell.

He said: “It makes you feel like no one cares. Another concern we have is whether it’s affecting our health because nobody can tell us what is causing it, we have no idea what we are breathing in.

“It’s having an effect on people’s mental health too which is something I don’t think the council or these businesses are taking into consideration.

“The smell makes you feel sick. It makes you feel trapped in your own home. I feel like I can’t breathe fresh air anymore, I feel so cooped up it really brings me down and makes me feel low.”

A number of businesses have been blamed for the stink, including Thames Water, Crapper and Sons Landfill, and Public Power Solutions.

Mannington and Western councillor Jim Robbins has been trying to investigate where the smell is coming from and he wants action to be taken.

“Anyone who lives in Rodbourne knows there is a problem with a smell, it is quite horrible,” he said.

“Swindon Borough Council have asked residents to do data sheets so they can pinpoint where it is coming from, which is not particularly helpful. They should be taking the lead in investigating it, they could be more proactive in solving the issue.

“The companies that could potentially be causing it are saying it’s not them. The council need to use their powers to get to the bottom of it.

He added: “I think it’s a bit disingenuous of the council to say that anything to do with Public Power Solutions isn’t to do with them because the council own PPS.”

A spokesperson for PPS said: “We are aware of the smell and have been in communication with the Environment Agency and local residents around concerns that the smell could be emanating from Waterside Park.

“We monitor odour on a daily basis onsite and around different areas of Rodbourne, the smell that has been recorded through this monitoring is not coming from our site.

“Our belief is that the smell that is being experienced over the Rodbourne area is coming from another site.”

A spokesperson for Thames Water said: “At Swindon sewage treatment works, as with all our sites, we work hard to ensure our essential service impacts neighbouring homes and businesses as little as possible.

“We have a number of odour control units at site, including a brand new unit installed earlier this year, which are designed to remove the smells associated with the sewage treatment process.

“We also have a robust odour management plan, which is regularly independently audited, and continue to carry out other measures on site to reduce odours, such as regular maintenance and cleaning.

“We’re happy to work with local environmental health officers to look at the wider issues of odour in the area.”

Richard Crapper of Crapper and Sons explained he doesn’t believe the smell is coming from the site because its based in Royal Wootton Bassett and it hasn’t received any complaints from the town.

The Adver has contacted Swindon Borough Council for comment.