Is British Sugar cannabis farm to blame for smell of weed in Peterborough?

The smell of cannabis has been wafting through Peterborough, the Fens and other parts of Cambridgeshire, with many people wondering where the scent is coming from.

Thursday, 29th June 2017, 1:20 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 12:06 pm

Well the answer could be a British Sugar cannabis farm in Norfolk with the firm saying it is investigating whether it is the cause of the smell.

The company’s Wissington factory started growing a cannabis plant this year so the ingredient can be used in medicine to treat rare forms of epilepsy in children.

A spokesperson for British Sugar, which has its head office in Sugar Way, Peterborough, said: “We’ve been aware in recent days of the concerns shared by members of the public about unusual smells across a wide area of Norfolk and we’re now investigating the reports to understand if they relate to our operations. We have not been processing material since Friday, June 23.

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“As part of the harvesting process at our horticultural operations there can be a smell for intermittent periods of time. We have been extremely mindful of this when looking at the various processes on site to minimise any impact on the local community during this time.

“As part of our investigation we will look at any measures we can implement during our operations to reduce the intensity and impact of any smell this could cause.”

Following our story yesterday about “numerous calls” from residents to Fenland District Council about the smell, Peterborough Telegraph readers have got in touch to say that the scent of cannabis is also strong in the city.

A reader emailed: “I live in Birchwood, Orton Goldhay, Peterborough. I can smell the cannabis here, and some nights it is so strong I’m getting headaches.

“My children have also smelt it and complained of headaches.”

Philippa Ward emailed: “I too have smelt the strong odour. I live in Hampton Hargate, Peterborough, and yesterday and the day before I had smelt what I thought was cannabis and had even mentioned it to my fiancé.

“I even smelt it in Hampton Vale as I came out of the Post Office (One Stop).”

On the Peterborough Telegraph’s Facebook Page, Gemma Smith wrote: “Could smell this in Gunthorpe! It was either a fire from the surrounding fields or cannabis!”

Sarah Huebler wrote: “I smelt it in Chatteris at about 9pm x.”

The smell has also been picked up in Stanground, the village of Bury (near Ramsey) and Wisbech St Mary.

Yesterday (Wednesday, June 28), an Environmental Health spokesman from Fenland District Council said: “We have received a number of complaints about the smell of cannabis. The issue is not limited to Fenland, with the odour being reported across Cambridgeshire and Norfolk.

“Along with Environmental Health teams from neighbouring authorities we are continuing to investigate the source of the smell, including looking at sites licenced to grow the plant by the Home Office.”

Norfolk police said it is not a police matter.