Vauxhall discovers cause of ‘cat urine smell’ around plant

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A stench of ‘cat urine’ surrounding the Vauxhall plant ‘for several years’ should vanish after its cause was discovered.

Residents have repeatedly reported the odour close to the factory, a problem that became such an issue that it was flagged up to Luton South MP Gavin Shuker.

After further investigation by Vauxhall and the Environment Agency, the car manufacturer found recycled solvents it used, in the presence of bacteria, can produce a cat urine odour.

Vauxhall is ‘confident’ that the problem should significantly improve after replacing the solvents.

In a letter to constituents Mr Shuker said that he will “keep a close eye on developments”.

Barnston Close resident Russell Davis admitted the problem had grown to a point where his family were unable to sit in the garden last summer.

He said: “On and off for the last two years it has been present, at times it was quite awful. It worsened with warm weather and last year you could really smell it outside which prevented us opening windows or going in the garden.

“The odour is something everyone noticed and when you were out with the dog it would always be talked about. You could particularly smell it as you went past the Vauxhall plant but already over the last two weeks I have noticed a massive improvement.”