Christchurch locals living near the Bromley wastewater treatment plant are demanding genuine compensation following an unfavourable report about the council’s handling of the plant’s fire and resulting foul smell.
In November 2021, a fire at the Bromley wastewater treatment plant caused an unpleasant odour that affected the health and homes of many nearby residents. The odour damaged properties, stained homes, and even corroded metal on cars. The smell has caused health issues among residents, including sickness and regular headaches.
A recent independent report criticised the Christchurch City Council for not addressing the stench issue promptly. The report revealed the council did not acknowledge the severity of the smell for five months after the fire. It also noted that the council failed to form an incident management team for the fire, despite doing so for previous incidents like the 2019 terror attacks and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mary Richardson, the acting chief executive of Christchurch City Council, acknowledged the findings and said the council had settled an insurance claim, paving the way for a permanent solution. She added that the council was revising its action plan based on community and partner advice. However, some residents remain sceptical and want tangible actions from the council.
Residents of Shortland Street, near the plant, have suggested various ways for the council to start making amends. Some have proposed genuine compensation, while others want rate reductions. The council, however, has not considered these proposals yet.