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Sittingbourne suffers from strange stink

By John Nurden

Sittingbourne has been plagued by a mystery stink.

More than 70 puzzled residents have commented on Facebook since the town became swamped by the smell.

Many flooded the national emergency gas hotline fearing there was a major gas leak.

Mystery smell tracked down here? Picture: Google Street View
Mystery smell tracked down here? Picture: Google Street View

But a spokesman for SGN (formerly Southern Gas Networks) insisted the stench was nothing to do with them.

She said: “We’ve had a number of calls in the past few days regarding a smell in the air in Sittingbourne.

“There’s nothing so far to suggest the smell is coming from our network.

"However, we would always recommend that anyone who can smell gas should call the national gas emergency number on 0800 111 999.”

The debate began on The Gossip Board of Sittingbourne yesterday when Georgina Cooke asked the question: “I live on William street any(one) else smell gas like real bad outside?”

The former Bowaters water tower on the Sittingbourne paper mill site was demolished in September 2012.
The former Bowaters water tower on the Sittingbourne paper mill site was demolished in September 2012.

Within hours, 72 members of the public had responded with reports of the nifty pong stretching from Chalkwell Road and Milton High Street to West Street and Park Road before comments were turned off.

At least three suggested the stink was coming from the former Bowaters and M-Real paper mill site in Westbourne Street.

One wrote: “It's methane gas from the building works at the bottom of Morrisons - (it's) all the fibreglass they are digging up from the old septic tanks.”

The site is being developed by Essential Land which has permission to build 150 homes there.

Swale council's environment protection team was making inquiries today to try to establish the cause.

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