The “pungent” smell from a composting site has made life “unbearable”.

Fumes from the Reviva Composting site, in Elstree Hill South, Elstree, have affected homes in Edgware.

Michael Jaeger, 41, lives in Mowbray Road, Edgware with his wife and four children. He said: “The smell is awful, it smells like decaying and rotting. It’s just got worse recently. Everybody is talking about it.

“When you go outside it’s unpleasant. You have to close the windows. It can’t continue like this, it’s unbearable. Who knows what it’s going to be like next summer? It’s not a way to live.”

Daniel Grace, who lives in Sullivan Way, Borehamwood, said: “The smell coming from this site is vile, especially in the evenings and prevents my kids from getting to sleep if their windows are left open.

"A lot of our neighbours have complained to the council but nothing seems to change.”

Martyn Krantz, a consultant who lives in Hillside Gardens, Edgware, said the smell was “indescribable”.

Mr Krantz said: “It’s a bit like a compost smell. It just hangs around, especially in the summer when everyone has their windows open.

“It comes across into Edgware itself, and it’s very unpleasant. It’s not every day, it’s random, but at least once or twice a week. My neighbours say it lingers on their clothes.

“It’s a big problem. I hope they can sort it out. They need to make sure it’s not damaging to health.

"The air should be clean. It’s not pleasant at all and something needs to be done about it.”

Edgware councillor Brian Gordon said that a lot of people had complained to him about the stench, and had asked for it to stop.

Cllr Gordon said: “I became aware of it a couple of weeks ago. The smell wafts a long way and it’s very unpleasant. It’s a pungent smell of burning and ash. It’s like the smell of the countryside gone wrong.

“It’s made life even more unpleasant for people with breathing difficulties. Some people say the smell permeates through the house. They have to close the windows or the smell lingers on.

“We want it to stop now, it’s not a negotiable thing. It’s really damaging people’s lives. It should not remain for much longer. I want to see it stopped. We must exercise our legal rights as much as we can.”

David Wolman, 68, who lives in Mowbray Road, Edgware, said the smell was “horrendous”.

He said: “We’ve noticed it for a few months, but it’s just recently got really bad. It’s quite pungent. My wife thought it might have been our drains.

“The site is a fertiliser compost plant, which is where the smell emanates from. It seems to be spreading across the whole of Edgware. A lot of people have remarked on it.”

The Environment Agency issued an enforcement notice last week that prevents the site from taking more waste.

The Times Series is awaiting a comment from Reviva Composting.