Can you solve Horsham’s smelly mystery?

Shaun, Amy and Bailey are forced to put up with the noxious fumes -photo by Steve Cobb
Shaun, Amy and Bailey are forced to put up with the noxious fumes -photo by Steve Cobb

An unknown ‘intoxicating’ smell of burning plastic that creeps its way into a Horsham home every other night is making a couple fear for their lives.

Shaun Jimmieson, 22, of New Street, says his pregnant partner, his young boy and neighbours have been plagued by the lingering smokey smell for the last four weeks.

The fire service has been called out a number of times but found nothing.

“My main concern is one day you’re in bed and think it’s just that bonfire again and then never wake up,” Mr Jimmieson told the County Times.

“It’s intoxicating. It’s burns your throat.”

He contacted Horsham District Council’s Environmental Health team but claims he was told staff would only come out if more details were given as to the location of the smell.

He fears for his family’s health, and says his pregnant partner Amy Rands, 20, suffers headaches from the fumes.

His 17-month-old son Bailey was born with a lung defect which is at the forefront of Mr Jimmieson’s mind now more than ever.

The family are not the only ones affected by the noxious smell.

Numerous residents of the Queensway and Brighton Road area have taken to social media to complain.

One local posted on the Horsham Facebook page: “Does anyone know if it’s illegal to have a bonfire in Horsham as someone is having one in Queensway area and its awful.”

To which Caroline Niblett replied: “I agree! It smells awful trying to work out where it’s coming from??”

Viv Quick said many had ‘shut their windows in disgust’.

Some suggested taking the complaint to Horsham District Council.

But others said there is a possibility it could be a fire in a nearby property.

“How do you know its a bonfire? Perhaps someone has had a fie at home/office etc,” said Dave Norris.

A spokesperson for Horsham District Council said complaints had been minimal.

“Only one person has come forward to Horsham District Council’s Environmental Health team with a concern about this issue, but that resident was not sure of the location and only provided vague details so the team weren’t able to investigate further.

“If any further information regarding a location is known, the team would be able to look into it.”

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Mr Jimmieson has appealed to those also affected to contact the council.