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New statistics rank London boroughs according to smell complaints

The “Big Smoke” as London is sometimes known, is home to all sorts of wafts and odours, but where in the City is the wiffiest?

Recent statistics by home fragrance experts, Lifestyle Packaging, have broken down every smell complaint received by UK councils from 2015-2019, and the results might surprise you.

Three of the pongiest places in the capital are the wealthiest, with City, Westminster, and Kensington and Chelsea ranking in the top ten.

City of London takes the crown for the smelliest borough in London, and the second most pungent in the whole of the UK.

It received 1,344 per capita – which is one complaint for every 74 inhabitants.

Residents mostly took offence with the smell of commercial operations near their homes, including persistent ‘painting work’.

Kensington and Chelsea – where the average salary is £65,000 a year – came close behind, with residents complaining about “general” offensive smells.

However, there are also some strong aromas exuding from further out. In Bexley, Hounslow, Hillingdon “air quality” and “sewage” were flagged up as unpalatable problems.

Residents in the South East area can breathe a sigh of relief, as Greenwich, Lewisham, Bromley, Croydon, and Lambeth received relatively few smell complaints.

In Barking and Dagenham – the council has apparently only received one smell complaint in the last five years.

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Overall, the data suggests London residents are more tolerant of unusual aromas, complaining less than those in the rest of the UK.

Only two of the Capital’s boroughs made it to the top 10 smelliest in the country – where ‘unusual complaints’ included ‘Maggot Factory’ (East Lindsey) and ‘Excrement That Came from The Sky’ (Derbyshire Dales).

However, Londoners might be more inclined to hold their noses because of the industrial activity and pollution that comes with their city postcode.


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