A reader’s impassioned plea for a cleaner Avonmouth where development benefits local residents:

Avonmouth is the DUMPING GROUND OF BRISTOL. Historically Imperial Smelting, Bristol Chemicals, Fisons, Rodia, ICI, Carbon Black and many other chemical companies have come and polluted the area with lead, sulphur and other dangerous chemicals. We had to have sirens – like the air raid sirens from the Second World War – installed to warn us to keep our windows closed. They have all been and gone now.

Now our little village is inundated with the stench that emanates from the sewage works. We have more ‘Waste Recycling Plants’ dotted around Avonmouth than is healthy. We have food waste composting plants, where the contents of all of Bristol’s little brown bins end up (together with all the fly larvae), and rubbish compacting plants that serve most if not all of Bristol. And now we have to suffer ‘biomass’ that is going to make the fly invasion even worse.

I blame Mr Ferguson and the whole of the Bristol Council. It is they that give planning permission to allow companies to operate and pollute people who live in the locality. Over the years they have tried to kill the area with chemical waste. Now we have to live like people in third world countries, with the stench of raw sewage. Blankets of dust covering the area. Explosions rattling the windows and then inundated with plagues of flies. We all pay Council Tax in and around Avonmouth, the same as the rest of the Bristol Area. WHAT DO WE GET BACK for that money?

I firmly believe it is about time the people of Avonmouth took Bristol City Council to task and asked why so many waste, recycling and biomass companies have been allowed to set up so close to habitation, and what is being done by those companies to control effluent and contamination of the local area.

On Mr Ferguson’s sale of Bristol Port: I Wonder what the value of the land is as industrial development land? I believe it is not only Bristol Port that is up for sale but also Portbury Dock. If you were to buy the equivalent amount of land to set up a port, how much would it cost? The Port Company are rightly developing the land so it makes them a good profit – but this also increases traffic servicing this growth, plus all the development that is happening in the area, like all the new warehouses and distribution centres. WHAT IS BEING DONE about all the increased heavy haulage as far as roads and increased air pollution from exhausts?

It is noted that although we have signs saying we have ‘uneven’ road surfaces as a result of heavy traffic and weather etc. Nothing seems to be being done to fix the problem.

I could carry on about all the things wrong with Avonmouth. The biggest plus for Avonmouth is the people that live here. We are a small village that has been overtaken by industry, but we are also a thriving community who care for each other, We have comparatively little crime and our children can play without being supervised all the time. We do have a lot to be grateful for because we do try and pull together. IT IS THE PEOPLE OF AVONMOUTH THAT MAKES IT A GOOD PLACE TO LIVE.

It seems the Council don’t want us to be happy together. If you don’t want to live in a third world village polluted by stench, dust, explosions, flies and everything else they can throw at us, then complain to the Environment Agency, Bristol City Council, George Ferguson, your local Member of Parliament (Lying Brigade) and the local councillors who are supposed to have your best interests at heart (if they have one).

Bristol City Council is profiting from the increased revenue from the increased development in the area – so why don’t the spend some of it trying to make the people of Avonmouth’s lives a little better? We are surrounded by industry yet pay standard Council Tax with no deduction for the pollution we have to endure. Industry around us has no thought for its close neighbours. They may employ some people from Avonmouth, but only because they enhance the companies profitability.

By Colin Coleman (Avonmouth Resident)


  1. Stephen Norman

    Mr Coleman I bow before you because I could not have put it better myself we have to fight on for the next generation are elected officials well nodding dogs in the back of a car

    1. Stephen Ware

      Thank you Colin , for telling it how it is,
      The Docks couldn’t care less for their neighbours, the people of Avonmouth, they site these mountains of scrap iron and furnace ash in the open as close as they can to where the people of Avonmouth live and as the wind turbines testify the docks has plenty of wind to blow this toxic cocktail of dust off their property and all over Avonmouth and beyond. If you walk around Avonmouth with a magnet you will find iron dust everywhere including inside your homes. The flies have infested Avonmouth at least four times in the last three years, no lessons seem to have been learned and I’m sure it won’t be the last time even if they get on top of this infestation.

  2. Terri

    Thank you Mr Coleman, what a wonderful post, right from the heart. I hope the guilty parties are going to sit up and listen to us locals and take their crap somewhere else! So much for us being a smoke free city and being awarded a green city. I think Avonmouth has been written off as no mans land, too far for south glos and to far out to be important enough to be part of Bristol. God forbid if this was happening in Westbury or Clifton!

  3. Tony Morrison

    I’m a researcher in Australia working on environmental consequences of industrial wastes. I’m trying to make a contact with anybody in Avonmouth who might have knowledge about how the 2-3 Million tonne stockpile of fine high lead/zinc slag from the Imperial Smelting Furnace was disposed of. Do you have any email addresses any of the local environmental groups in Avonmouth or any individuals amongst the Avonmouth locals who may be able to help?
    Anthony L Morrison
    Senior Research Fellow
    Department of Environmental Sciences
    Faculty of Science and Engineering
    Macquarie University, NSW, 2109
    Ph +61 2 98507869 Fax +61 2 98507972


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