A ‘REPUGNANT’ smell blighting Wombwell which was followed by a plague of flies is being investigated by environment bosses due to growing complaints.

Rising temperatures - which are expected to soar beyond 25C this weekend - have exacerbated matters, according to residents whose homes surround Low Valley Industrial Estate, off Station Road.

There has been much debate about the source of the smell, which some people attribute to a nearby farm while others claim is caused by waste from a recycling plant on the industrial estate.

Coun Trevor Smith said he is working with the Environment Agency to discover the cause of the problem.

“The smell that settled over Wombwell was repugnant,” he said. “It’s got to the point where residents couldn’t open their windows or doors for fears of flies getting into their home.

“This has made them very uncomfortable and I believe that it can’t be good for their health.”

Phil Kelly, manager of the accused business, Foundry Supplies, assured local residents that the business is doing everything it can to minimise waste.

“I understand that a photo of a ‘waste pile’ is doing the rounds on social media and that fingers have been pointed at us,” said Phil. “I want to assure residents that we have been working with Environmental Health to make sure our business is doing everything it can to be safe for the environment.

“We do recycle metal products so unfortunately heat is a product of that.

“However, the pile of waste is formed of metal we are unable to recycle so I don’t believe the smell and flies could have come from that.

“I sympathise with residents because it must be horrible to live where there are a lot of flies getting in your house, but we want to work with the local community not against it.”

An investigation into the cause of the problem has been opened by the council’s environment agency.

According to information on the government website, businesses must store waste safely and securely, complete a waste transfer note for each load of waste that leaves the premises and must only use legally registered waste carriers.

One resident on Brayford Way - who did not wish to be named - likened the smell to ‘death’ and revealed that they are unable to open their windows or doors in the warmer weather.

“Personally I just want the issue to be sorted so that we can enjoy our summer and not have to worry about the endless flies in our house.

“It’s horrible having to get rid of them because you don’t know where they have been and there’s more than I have ever seen before.

“I hope the problem is solved, I don’t think whatever is causing the smell was done deliberately but something needs to be done to put a stop to it.”

A spokesperson for Barnsley Council said: “We can confirm that we are working with a number of businesses in the Low Valley area to reduce flies, though as this is an ongoing investigation we’re unable to disclose specific details.

“The Environment Agency regulates the waste management sector and they have been made aware of the issues.”