FURIOUS residents who claim they are being plagued by a swarm of flies have urged authorities to finally act to end their two-year misery.
Neighbours of Low Valley Industrial Estate have complained about flies since summer 2021, which prompted a Barnsley Council-led investigation to take place.
However, almost two years on, homes around the site are still being impacted by flies – and residents believe the issue will become worse as temperatures climb.
One resident, Linda Wilding, of Station Road,said that she had been ‘plagued’ with flies ever since a recycling unit – Foundry Supplies – opened.
“I’ve lived in this house for 39 years and flies have only been a problem since that unit opened,” said Linda.
“We get invaded with them – especially when it starts getting warmer.
“We can’t open our windows or have our doors open, even with the windows on vent, they manage to get in.
“I must go through three bottles of fly repellent spray each week – it’s absolutely horrendous.”
In July 2021, an investigation was opened by the council’s regulatory services department to determine the cause.
During the investigation, it was found the flies could have originated from three locations – a local farm, a residential property or an industrial unit which processes metal waste.
Linda added: “While environment bosses are visiting the site, we are still inundated with thousands of flies in our homes.
“They’ve visited and have recommended spraying – this is okay at the site, but it makes the flies relocate to the homes nearby.
“We just can’t understand why the council thought it was a good idea to open a recycle unit so close to a residential area, and to have our concerns completely dismissed is beyond frustrating.
“Preparing food is a nightmare – we have to be on constant alert for the flies but it’s hard work because they are everywhere.”
Kirsty Fechter, of Stonyford Road, also feels let down by the council, after allegedly having emails ignored and worries dismissed.
She said: “It always starts off with one or two flies and the next thing you know they are everywhere, constantly in and out of rooms, even outside, you can’t escape them.
“Last year the flies were huge, this year they seem to be a bit smaller, as though they are a different type.
“I’ll kill one of them and then three more appear – it’s awful.
“I have children, so I have to make sure everything is cleaned down and wiped, but it’s exhausting, because they are literally everywhere, it’s hard to keep on top of.
“We can’t open the windows or doors in the summer, which isn’t ideal when it’s really warm.”
Kirsty, who lives directly behind the recycling unit, is adamant that’s where the flies are coming from, and blames the council for allowing them to keep their licence after having received complaints from a number of residents within the Low Valley area.
“The council have been poor – I couldn’t tell you the amount of people who’ve gone to them and addressed these concerns they don’t want to help us.
“It’s frustrating because you can’t speak to anyone from the council I logged a complaint last year and received an auto-response acknowledgment email and then I was told they hadn’t received my email and that someone would call me, but they never did.
“We have the floods in the winter and flies in the summer – it’s not fair.
“We shouldn’t have to live like this.”
Julia Burrows, director of public health and communities, said: “We’re aware of a number of complaints received about flies in the Low Valley area, which we’ve been investigating since the summer of 2021.
“A site was identified as the source of the flies and was served a community protection warning, informing the organisation to begin a treatment programme to control the issue.
“The company has continued to adhere to the arrangement, and subsequent visits have shown the fly levels on the site were being controlled to a suitable level not to cause a nuisance to nearby properties.
“A further inspection took place on Tuesday, during which one of our officers witnessed some flies on site, but not at a level that was considered likely to cause problems in the area.
“The officer also visited a unit next to the site and witnessed no flies at that unit.
“We will continue to monitor the fly levels and pest control treatments at the site to make sure measures are followed and will carry out further investigations into other potential sources in the area.
“Residents are encouraged to report any issues regarding flies to firstname.lastname@example.org and the Environment Agency at 0800 807060.”