Vegetation, not cows, to blame for smell
Bill Collins says he knows cow manure when he smells it.
The Whitby resident said the stench from a neighbouring property development had made his life miserable and he was certain it came from cows.
‘‘You can’t leave the doors open or it will get through the house. It’s not pleasant.’’
The smell first wafted into his life about a week ago and was particularly bad during hot weather, he said.
‘‘I’ve been around farms enough to tell the difference and this smell definitely came from cows.’’
But developer Bob Turner said it was rotting vegetation, not manure, that was stinking up the neighbourhood.
Despite resident’s suspicions it was contaminated topsoil trucked in to raise the ground above the flood plain, Turner said there was no soil imported to the development.
‘‘We already have so much topsoil, we’re hoping to give it away.’’
Earthworks on the 148-home subdivision, on the former bottom nine of the old Duck Creek golf course in Whitby, had uncovered the rotted vegetation and the smell should disappear soon, he said.
‘‘It’s just a normal process, but the neighbours are very close to the site.’’
Lyn Hickling’s property backs onto the new subdivision and she first noticed ‘‘the cow smell’’ about a month ago.
‘‘It’s absolutely horrible, I could gag on it. ‘‘It’s so absolutely repulsive. ‘‘It smells like being in a cowshed. You can’t sit outside or open the windows ... it’s not fair and I’m not amused.’’
She had lived there for three years and never noticed a smell until the trucks began moving soil around, she said.
On Thursday, in a written statement, Porirua City Council chief operating officer Tamsin Evans agreed with Turner.
Council staff visited the site on Wednesday to investigate the smell complaints and the culprit was composting material in the soil, exposed behind Shackle Lane, she said.
‘‘Last week this area was drained to release water from the soil so it can be removed and replaced with a layer of clay capping soil to create a stable building surface.
‘‘The developer is in the process of removing the offending soil and weather permitting this will be completed over the next week.’’
Earthworks at Duck Creek, Whitby, Porirua have been blamed for stirring up a smell, upsetting residents.