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Celtic League wades into big stink

Drainage proposals labeled as "laughable"

The Celtic League has waded into the "big stink" at Smeale.

Some locals are demanding a naturally formed lagoon in the area of the Ayres Nature Reserve -designated as an Area of Special Scientific Interest - should be drained due to the smell of rotting seaweed.

The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture says it’s carefully considering the matter, as it would have to give permission for the work to be carried out by the DOI on behalf of Manx Utilities.

However, DEFA Minister Richard Ronan says tests to see if the smell is being caused by sewage trapped in the lagoon haven't found anything amiss.

The drainage proposals have attracted criticism from Manx Bird Life, which says such lagoons are the reason the area was protected to begin with.

The Celtic League has described the plans as "laughable" and point out the lagoon will probably clear naturally during winter storms.

It adds there's little wonder conservationists have condemned the move and asks why there was no consultation with such bodies at an earlier stage.

The League ends its statement saying it hopes the idea is derailed and in future any moves by government agencies in relation to the Ayres SSI or other sensitive Island habitat are talked through with environmental groups first.

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