A mother claims the smell from a farm a MILE from her home causes her autistic son to suffer tantrum-like “sensory meltdowns”.
Sumaira Wilson, 36, believes the pungent odour is harming four-year-old Robbie’s development and makes him not want to go to school.
She describes the smell as “horrific, like rotting eggs that have been left for days in an incubator” and is considering moving home because of it.
Sumaira said: “Robbie’s sense of smell and hearing is heightened and this means he has a lot of sensory issues, strong smells and loud noises can send him into sensory overload.
“His meltdowns are very similar to tantrums. He will implode and start shouting and screaming and he will not want to go to school.
“These are brought on by the smell from the farm and cause him a lot of anxiety, agitation and it affects his sleep.
“When the smell is at its strongest you can see it in his face, it affects him.”
The mum-of-four says the stench from Cattlegate Farm, in Cuffley, Herts., has been dubbed the “Cuffley stink” by locals, who have cancelled bowls matches, sports days and barbeques because of it.
But she says she has noticed Robbie’s outbursts coincide with when the smell is at its worse.
According to Sumaira, Cattlegate Farm is also in viewing distance from Cuffley School where Robbie attends nursery, meaning he gets no escape from the smell.
Last summer it emerged that the pong was caused by the disposal of salad items, such as tomatoes and cucumbers, on the site.
Although Sumaira concedes “it is not Chernobyl” she wants something to be done about it, insisting “it is an environmental issue, when the whole village is concerned something must be up”.
The Environment Agency received several complaints when the whiff resurfaced last month but investigators found the farm was complying with everything it has been asked to.
Insurance broker Sumaira said she wanted the farm to disclose exactly what is going in the site and what chemicals they were using in the process.
She added: “Rotting food should not smell like that, it is not like fertiliser which we get around here in the fields.”
When it was put to her that the farm owners were just doing their job running a compost business she said: “That is fine, they are just doing their job, that is fine but it is affecting the welfare of the people in the vicinity, they have a duty to local residents, they need to be more forthcoming.”
The owner of Cattlegate Farm was unavailable for comment.