Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council has allocated £50,000 from its Borough Growth Fund to fund specialist technical advice and support that will enable more effective monitoring of the odours blighting large parts of the borough and alleged to emanate from Walleys Quarry landfill site.
The aim is to legally establish if the source of odours is Walleys Quarry, in Silverdale, which is owned and run by Red Industries RM Limited.
The site has been highly controversial for several years now, with local residents complaining about the ‘foul stench’ that they experience within their own homes, gardens and neighbourhood, which they say does come directly from the landfill.
Simon Tagg, the Leader of the Borough Council said: “We are trying to address the issues that residents have been reporting for some considerable time with the Environment Agency and Red Industries.
“The Council doesn’t have the specialist expertise ‘in house’ so we are intending to allocate this funding from the Council’s budget in a bid to get adequate, scientifically measured readouts of the actual level of emissions. There is concern that the monitoring that has been done to date by the Environment Agency has been inadequate.
“Whilst the Council has no not directly powers to close down operations at the landfill, the situation is so important to our communities – and not just the people living close to the site because complaints come from miles around – that we have to take swift, independent action and bring in specialist skills and the advice of industry experts.”
The Council has been recording residents’ complaints, and sharing them in real time with Red Industries and the Environment Agency.
The Environment Agency is responsible for monitoring the site and also regulates the environmental permits held by Red Industries for Walleys Quarry.
While the specialist technical advice is being commissioned and implemented the Council is encouraging anyone who continues to experience any form of negative impact, which they believe to be caused by the landfill, to report the issues in detail, with times and dates, to the Council, Red Industries and the Environment Agency.
From next week the Council will be extending the hours of operation of its environmental enforcement team to include an on-call and out-of-hours response service in order to assist the investigation of odour complaints.
It is hoped that the service will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, until further notice.
Please report the issues to the council and the EA using the following:
Via Twitter at @EnvAgencyMids – or telephone the EA on 0800 80 70 60 – or e-mail [email protected]