Victory in battle to halt ‘evil smell’ across Crawley and Horsham

The smell emanated from fields at Ifield in Crawley
The smell emanated from fields at Ifield in Crawley

A battle to halt an obnoxious smell from wafting over Crawley and parts of Horsham has ended in victory.

Thousands of people have been left reeling from an annual foul stench affecting a wide area across the region.

Cllr Geraint Thomas

Cllr Geraint Thomas

The pong - described by many as an ‘evil smell’ - has originated each year from fields in Ifield, Crawley, but has been smelt by people as far north as Gatwick Airport and as far south as Horsham.

Last August Crawley borough councillor Geraint Thomas wrote to the landowners - Homes England - asking them to investigate after saying enough is enough. He said the area had been plagued by the stench every summer for around 10 years.

The problem, he said, occured when a ‘cake’ made from human sewage was spread over fields by a local farmer. He said neither Crawley nor Horsham councils had powers to deal with what he called ‘unneighbourly’ and ‘unacceptable’ behaviour.

People in Horsham described the stench as ‘really awful’ and a ‘terrible pong’ which made many feel sick.

But now Crawley Borough Council says the issue has finally been resolved. A spokesman said: “We have worked with the landowner, Homes England, and the tenant farmer to resolve this issue, which has blighted Ifield and adjoining neighbourhoods in recent years.

“Thankfully, the farmer has agreed to stop bringing in and spreading the material with immediate effect.”