Today I have learned that the pollution incident was caused by thousand of litres of Heavy Heating Oil leaking from a large tank on the Lyne Hill Industrial Estate behind the fire station on the southern boundary of Penkridge. Eventually, the new owners of the Industrial Estate were located and the Environment Agency and the owners are beginning to deal with the mess it has left behind in the Otherton Brook. This brook flows northwards right through the middle of the large Vale Gardens Housing Estate, through the village centre and into the River Penk near Bull Bridge and the Riverside Old Folks Home.
Over Xmas weekend the smell and fumes has been reported from large areas of Penkridge as the very cold weather has caused the fumes and smell to hang over the lower ground. It was particularly bad in the village centre where the brook flows under the road past the bakery and village toilets and then into the River Penk near Riverside. Anyone walking up the footpath from New Road to Wolgarston Way and to Somerfields have also reported it as being very smelly over the weekend. Not very pleasant and dogs and children must not be allowed to paddle in the stream until all traces of the oil have disappeared.
Wildlife damage is already being reported with the RSPC collecting an injured Heron and other dead birds being found.
This incident does not bode well for the owners of this Industrial Estate who, it is understood, intend to submit a planning application for change of use in the New Year.
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