CONCERNED residents are calling for the axe to fall on a “poisonous” wood burner site, which they claim is billowing harmful fumes into homes and making children ill.

Neighbours of Stoke Prior firm Flog-a-Log, on Intall Fields Farm in Stoke Pound Lane, say their lives are a “nightmare” due to the wood smoke emitted from its premises.

The company, which is located on Green Belt land, began installation of a biomass boiler system and 14 flues in January 2016, and had retrospective planning permission refused.

A total of 17 letters of objection and 56 signatures petitioning against the application have been made, and the council has issued the firm with an enforcement notice to leave.

Flog-a-Log – which supplies firewood – appealed the notice in October, saying the site should be deemed lawful as it has been used for commercial use for more than 10 years.

But neighbour Grant Bishop, 40, said: “It’s a nightmare living next door to it. I’ve got a two-year-old and a four-year-old but you can’t take them outside as it’s covered in smoke.

“All weekend I have had a sore throat because I stayed in my garden on Friday. The visual impact is appalling but I have got two small children and they are being poisoned.”

Nick Arkell, 55, who lives opposite the site, has sent around 2000 leaflets to residents to inform them of a public consultation which runs until April 7.

He said: “We have had massive support. A lot of people said ‘oh, that’s what the smell is’.

“We were outside the other day and the whole road was full of a horrible burning smell, you could see it belching across the hedge rows and the fields.

“Wood smoke is awful. It can get into your eyes and respiratory system. If you stand in it for 10 minutes your throat starts burning.

“This can only go on so long before I have to move because we should not have been allowed to suffer this.”

Parish councillor Sue Abel, of nearby Foley Gardens, said residents have voiced their “anger and frustration” at council meetings.

Stoke Prior Parish Council said they raised “strong objections” to the planning application as they “were not convinced that the site had been used for the purposes claimed”.

In a planning statement, the company said the biomass boilers burn wood in an “environmentally friendly way” to heat existing buildings on the site.

It added the boilers are subject to a ‘Non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Emissions Certificate’, showing it meets the air quality requirements of the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

The site is currently being investigated by Worcestershire Regulatory Services.

A Bromsgrove District Council spokesman added: “We are aware of residents’ concerns over air pollution at this site. This matter is currently being investigated by Worcestershire Regulatory Services.

"The council identified a number of breaches of planning control at the Intall Fields Farm site and subsequently served an Enforcement Notice on 10th October 2016.

"The site owner submitted an appeal against the Notice to the Planning Inspectorate. The Planning Inspector will be holding a public inquiry to consider the merits of the appeal but a date for this has not yet been confirmed.”

The Advertiser approached Flog-a-Log but they were unavailable for comment prior to going to press.

To respond to a public consultation, which ends on April 7, email quoting reference APP/P1805/C/16/3163467.