Odours of rotting vegetation, and worse, have led neighbours of a waste plant to object to plans for its extension.

Vale Green Energy has asked Worcestershire County Council for permission to install a third anaerobic digester for organic waste at its Springhill Nurseries site on the A44 between Evesham and Pershore.

The two digesters already on site since 2013 produce methane gas from vegetable feedstock and maize, sending it to the national grid to create electricity.

The company now wants to install a third storage tank for the material, six metres high – with at least three metres underground – and 28 metres across.

A report to councillors on County Hall’s planning and regulatory committee says: “The [proposed tank] is required to supplement two existing operational tanks/chambers on site which are experiencing technical faults.”

The material in the existing tanks needs to be stirred by agitators, but the problems with the agitators means it can’t be and it has solidified. That in turn means the repairs to agitators can’t be made until the tanks are emptied.

If approved, the new container would hold the removed material, and also be used as part of the daily operation of the site, meaning each tank would hold less material.

But a number of neighbours, including residents, Evesham Golf Course, and Fladbury Parish Council have objected to the proposal, because when the original site was given permission it was with the condition that it wouldn’t cause offensive odours in the area, but it has.

Councillor Ian Southcott, chairman of Fladbury Parish Council, said: “There have been very unpleasant odours coming from the site and it has caused a number of people quite bad problems.

“We have worked with the plant before and we’ve had good relations which we would like to continue. We decided to oppose the application more as a signal that there have been problems and we really would like to see them sorted out and sooner rather than later.”

Nobody from Vale Green Energy, which also operates another anaerobic digester and a solar panel farm at Throckmorton in the county, has responded to phone calls and emails from the Worcester News inviting comment.

Organic material is sealed in digesters without oxygen and broken down by micro-organisms. One of the by-products of the process is biogas, which can be burned to create power or heat, or can be converted into other fuel.

The material left after digestion can be used for composting or mulching farmers’ fields.

The committee will also hear a report on inspection of four sports grounds in Worcestershire: Sixways, the home of Worcester warriors rugby team; Worcester racecourse; Kidderminster Harriers’ Aggborough stadium and The Victoria Grounds, home of Bromsgrove Sporting FC and their tenants Worcester City.

The report to councillors says that operations at all four venues are satisfactory under safety at sports grounds legislation.

The Planning and Regulatory Committee will meet at 10am at County Hall on Tuesday July 3. The public may attend.