The report attached to the agenda detailed complaints made since the last meeting and the results of any investigations.
A complaints summary was circulated (attached) which details comparisons for each quarter back to 2002.
It was typical to receive a low number of complaints over the winter period. Although the raw material throughput was higher over winter due to the increase in the number of fallen stock, the weather conditions were favourable.
Reference was made to the complaint on Alphington Road. The odour was noticed on 21 December but the complaint was not made until Christmas Eve, by which time the offices were closed for the Christmas period. Therefore the complaint was not picked up until the beginning of January and it was not possible to investigate fully.
The complaint from Roberts Road was made direct to the factory giving the address of the caller, but not the area that the odour was smelt. The wind direction was different to the address so was unlikely to be from the factory, unless the complainant smelt the odour somewhere other than at home.
An enquiry was made on whether a set pattern of questions were asked to complainants to ensure that the location of the odour can be recorded. It was noted that a set number of questions were asked if any complaints were received through Exeter City Council, but Nick Parsons confirmed that he would review factory procedures.
The vehicle complaints usually received can be as a result of odour or noise. The condition of Water Lane was raised as this was the route vehicles took to the factory and there were a large number of pot holes which exacerbated the noise.
It was suggested whether an approach could be made to Devon County Council to prioritise works being undertaken in Water Lane in respect of lessening the risk of noise from vehicles.
Devon County Council have a priority order of roads to be repaired. The Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing, Communities & Sport would speak to the Leader of the Council to gain an understanding of this, with a view to possibly challenging the position of Water Lane on the list. Although it is not a main thoroughfare there are consequences if potholes here are not repaired because of the number and timing of HGV movements.
It was also noted that the double yellow lines along a part of Water Lane had been painted over with grey paint and some travellers and vehicles were now parked along this stretch of road. It was requested that if any registration numbers are available to pass on to Environmental Health to investigate further.
It was agreed that a joint letter be sent to the Cabinet Member for Highways Management at Devon County Council from Councillor Sills and the Devon County Councillor for that area, Carol Whitton, on behalf of this Group to raise concerns about the road surface and obstruction by parked vehicles, highlighting the frequency and number of lorries that use Water Lane. Nick Parsons would seek advice from head office that this could be provided, but agreed in principle to provide this.