LOCALS living near to Britain’s “smelliest” chippy say the stink means they are forced to stay inside with their windows closed.
Residents in Farnham, Surrey, say the smell of oily food is dictating their lives and makes it hard for them to dry their washing.
The previous owners of Ocean’s Eleven have been hit by almost £5,000 worth of fines due to the stench.
The new owners, who took over around Christmas, now hope to make positive changes to the shop but locals say they have yet to see any improvement.
Sue Mantle lives behind the chippy and is fed up by the smell.
Now retired, the 67-year-old said: “We live by the wind direction. As soon as it’s an easterly wind it’s everywhere.
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“I have to get the washing out at around 6:30am so that it’s dry before it opens at midday, otherwise the clothes will smell.
“Even my car gets dirty from the grease. I went to clean the windshield the other day and it was all greasy and smeary.
“It’s absolutely foul.”
Ms Mantle isn’t hopeful that the new owners will make a difference.
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She said: “The name has changed three times now but with each name there is no improvement.
“I have been complaining for the past four and a half years and nothing has changed.
“As far as we are aware the old owners haven’t paid the fines.”
The site used to be the home of an Indian restaurant that managed not to ruffle any feathers.
Ms Mantle said: “Around 28 years ago it used to be an Indian and we never had this problem.
“People can’t believe how bad it is.”
The smell isn’t the only issue frustrating residents.
Ms Mantle added: “They have drains that overflow. The streets have been flooded before from it as they seem to put things down there.
“And cars are constantly leaving their engines running while they wait, adding to the pollution.
“They do what they like and ignore our rules and regulations.”
Despite the smell, Ms Mantle has no desire to leave.
She said: “We’ve been here for 37 years, why should we move? It is our home. It was a lovely place before."
Tina Leary is a cake maker living behind the chippy. She too is frustrated by the smell and worried about the owner's future plans.
She said: It’s so miserable and there is a lot of bad feeling in the community. Loads of us have lodged complaints.”
People in the neighbourhood were tasked with writing diaries to log the smell.
Ms Leary said: “We had to write diaries where we wrote about the smell.
“We did this for four years – like how much proof do they need?”
She now worries that the new owners are going to make things even worse.
She said: “Apparently they are going to be adding a kebab oven which is worrying because that might mean we will have lots of noisy people coming down the road at night to buy kebabs.”
Ms Leary did go to the fish and chip shop when it opened but hasn’t been back since.
She said: “We went when it first opened to support it but I would not go there again.
“Even though it’s kept getting new owners it’s never improved. It’s like they don’t care about the neighbours.”
Caroline Crunden is a cook and also lives behind the fish and chip shop.
The 60-year-old said: “It is absolutely awful, you can smell it in the kitchen, in the living room, everywhere.
“You can’t open the windows because the smell just flies in and it’s worse in the summer when we want to go outside and are forced in because of the smell.”
Even residents further away from the chippy are affected.
Kevin Richardson, 60, said: “It’s not as bad here as the other houses but we are still affected by it.”
The systems engineer added: “It’s not nice in the garden.
“If the wind is bad it’s awful and annoying in the summer when you want to be outside.”
While the smell is the main issue, the traffic caused by the chippy has also been a source of annoyance.
George Clayden said: “We’ve drawn up a complaint because of the traffic and congestion it causes.
“People park down the road to go to the shop but it’s not wide enough for that many cars.
“I sometimes can’t turn into my driveway.”
The sentiment is echoed among the community.
One neighbour said: “It’s just not fair for the people who live here and have to put up with it every day.
“There’s the cars and then the smell – it’s unbearable.
Another said: “We have been forced out of our garden by the smell. It’s horrible.”
However, one resident is lucky not to be burdened by the smell.
He said: “I have no sense of smell so I’m not affected by it but I know that lots of people around here are.”
The new owners moved into the shop around Christmas.
They now plan to make changes to help the locals and be a positive business in the community.
The new owner, Adil Toprak, 44, said: “We didn’t know the issues beforehand as the previous owner didn’t tell us.
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“We have given in an application for a new license so we can get a new extractor fan which will stop the problem.
“We are currently waiting for the legal stuff to go through but we hope for it to be sorted in March.”
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