PLANS that could bring an end to an “unpleasant smell” which has affected Westerleigh residents for more than a decade, have been welcomed.

Villagers have expressed their frustration at the pervasive odour, emitted from a nearby abattoir, with some reporting that they can’t go outside to use their gardens, as it is so strong.

“Some people say they can even smell it when they’re indoors,” said parish council chairman Bob Taylor.

“There’s one manhole where it seems to come out of and any houses close to it suffer particularly badly.”

However, a solution could now have been found, after Wessex Water announced an ambitious £1million scheme to reroute discharge from the abattoir, so that it bypasses the village altogether.

At a special meeting held in Westerleigh this week, representatives from Wessex Water, abattoir owners Tulip, and the Environment Agency met with residents to discuss the plans.

Wessex Water’s Mark Cooper, said: “We will be picking up the abattoir’s existing discharge pipe, which currently comes through Westerleigh, and re-routing it outside of the village.

“As well as dealing with the bad odour, this will address flooding issues too.”

Stefan Hille, Tulip’s site director, said: “Re-routing the pipe should get a good result.

“In addition to the schemes that we see with Wessex Water, Tulip are looking to invest a fair amount of money in our own effluent treatment as well.”

Claire Young, Liberal Democrat councillor for Westerleigh, said: “It is great news that Wessex Water and Tulip are taking action.

“The people of Westerleigh have had enough of the bad odours affecting the village, which is why so many turned up on a cold and damp January evening to find out more about these plans.

“Putting in a new sewer for the abattoir waste that bypasses the village will hopefully address many of the problems.”

Parish clerk, Sue Simmons said: “Just under 40 villagers came along to the meeting, and they were encouraged to hear that the new separate 1.6km pipe for Tulip waste will start to be installed in September.

“I have since been told that work will take around six months, unless unforeseen issues arise.”