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eco - Business Express

Clean Air Day – Report reveals business hotspots for nuisance smells 


Revealing England’s smelliest locations for business complaints  

  • Barnsley Borough Council is the smelliest area in England according to a new report by Direct365 
  • South Yorkshire cities topped in the top five business-related smell complaints. 
  • The report analysed more than 12,500 complaints across 68 council areas in England  


June 2022: Clean air is essential for people’s health and daily lives, but air pollution is the single greatest environmental risk to human health and one of the leading preventable causes of death and disease worldwide. Almost 30% of Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) comes from industrial activity, with an additional 12% originating from road transport from both industries and personal journeys. Clean Air Day (June 16th) aims to spread awareness of the health risks associated with poor air quality and what we can do as businesses and communities to help reduce our impact on the environment.


A new report has revealed the location and prevalence of business-related, nuisance odours. Business owners are responsible for ensuring their activity isn’t negatively impacting the local community. 

Not only are they unpleasant, but, they’re bad for public health, ranging across cleaning chemicals, sewage plants, and commercial waste which can present severe health risks. That’s why The national smell and odour report was created by, essentials service provider Direct365. 

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The report analysed more than 12,500 complaints across council areas in England (46 councils responded to Freedom Of Information and Environmental Information Regulation requests) to reveal the locations with the most smell issues.  

Many complaints in the report came from the public due to business practices in the area. Formal complaints to respective councils were made in the hope of solving the issue. Prolonged exposure to nuisance smells is not only annoying but impacts the human quality of life and health. 

Council areas with the most nuisance odours 2020-2021 

Two South Yorkshire cities in the top five 

Two South Yorkshire cities (Barnsley and Sheffield) featured in the top five smelliest regions, alongside Gateshead, Hounslow, and Birmingham. Barnsley Borough Council had 178 complaints across the two years, the equivalent of 16 complaints per 1,000 people—the majority of which came from business-related smells.  

Council areas with the most nuisance odours 2020-2021 

  Council area  Total number of complaints per 1,000 people  Total number of complaints in 2020-21  Most common smell type (Business / domestic / unspecified) 
Barnsley Borough Council  16.01  178  Business 
Gateshead Borough Council  3.99  809  Domestic 
Hounslow Council  3.53  957  Unspecified 
Birmingham City Council  2.80  3,191  Domestic 
Sheffield City Council  2.17  1,246  Domestic 
Westminster Council  1.75  457  Unspecified 
Bexley Council  1.50  372  Domestic 
South Tyneside Borough Council  1.39  206  Domestic 
Kirklees Borough Council  1.24  522  Domestic 
10  Tameside Borough Council  1.07  243  Business 
11  Sandwell Borough Council  0.99  325  Business 
12  Trafford Borough Council  0.88    



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