AN investigation has been launched after a number of complaints about the smells and noises coming from an east Cleveland slaughterhouse.

Boosbeck Against Slaughterhouse (BASH) fought to stop the abattoir in the centre of the village from re-opening when application was lodged with Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council in 2011.

The group was unsuccessful in their campaign and BHM of Middlesbrough were able to prepare halal meet on the premises from the end of last year.

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The council were heavily criticised for allowing the site to be re-opened but maintained they were unable to block it as no planning permission was needed because there would be no change of use of the site.

However, following the complaints the authority has said it will continue to work with the owner and residents.

Neville Brown, of BASH, claims their initial concerns have turned into reality as the slaughterhouse is running throughout the night while the smell and noises are unbearable.

He said: “This is now a night-time operation and, as you can imagine, with residents living only 20 metres away, this is becoming an unbearable situation.

"With wagons coming and going throughout the night, workers shouting, sheep bleating, fans, refrigeration and generators all buzzing away, residents are losing sleep because of this.

“But there is also another problem. The stench of the gut trailer that is parked at the back of the premises is filled with guts and animal innards just venting off for all in the village to smell.

“I have even witnessed school children stood waiting for their school bus, covering their mouths and noses because the stench is so unbearable.”

Last year the campaigners issued a legal challenge after the licence was granted to re-open the abattoir but the Court of Appeal rejected their appeal in January.

Residents have made a number of complaints to the local authority, which is working with DEFRA department, the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency, to investigate their concerns.

Councillor Helen McLuckie, cabinet member for highways, planning and transport, said: “We have received a number of complaints about operating practice which our planning enforcement team and our environmental protection team are investigating and will take appropriate action if we find them in breach of operating conditions or if there is evidence that a statutory nuisance has occurred.”

No one was available for comment from BHM of Middlesbrough last night.