‘What’s that smell?’ Mounds of compost leave nasty whiff at Harold Hill’s Broxhill Centre

The compost dumped at the Broxhill Centre in Noak Hill Road

The compost dumped at the Broxhill Centre in Noak Hill Road - Credit: Archant

A Harold Hill sports centre has been hit by a “horrible” smell after Havering Council dumped “tonnes” of compost in its car park last week.

Members – many of whom are disabled – have been forced to go through compost to get to the Broxhill Centre in Noak Hill Road, causing the smell to be spread inside the club.

Peter Bruce, Broxhill’s head tennis coach, says the stink had been hard for visitors to ignore.

“The swarm of insects was so numerous I had to use my car’s windscreen wipers to clear space for me to see ahead,” said Mr Bruce, of Collier Road.

“The council has assured us that it’s compost but it does not smell like compost – they say it will be gone by next Saturday.


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“Everybody has commented on the smell when they’ve come into the car park.”

The centre runs a variety of clubs including a disabled group, a general sports evening and a junior club. The club has more than 40 members.

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Mr Bruce, a coach at Broxhill for 10 years, says members in wheelchairs have struggled to escape the stench.

“The major issue is that those with disabilities, because the compost goes on their wheel rims, have to touch their wheels to move and therefore it’s brought inside the club and on their hands too,” he added. “The compost is proving inconvenient to everyone.”

Two hundred and fifty cubic metres of compost was dumped and reduced parking spaces by a third, said chairman Dave Wiltshire, 77, of Hornchurch.

The load had been scheduled to be deposited elsewhere at the Broxhill site but the council made a last-minute decision to use the car park instead.

“They could have properly spoken to us about it,” said Mr Wiltshire. “It is smelly and horrible. There is nothing we can do about it.”

Cllr Andrew Curtin, cabinet member for culture, towns and communities, said: “We are sorry for any problems caused while this green compost made up of plants is temporarily kept in the car park at the Broxhill Centre. We’ve already started moving it and it will all be gone soon.”

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