Today, legal teams from Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council and Walleys Quarry Limited appeared in court in the first of a series of court hearings to deal with the appeal lodged by Walleys Quarry against the Council’s Statutory Nuisance Abatement Notice.
The abatement notice requires the landfill operators to prevent foul odours beyond the boundaries of the site.
The purpose of the hearing at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court was to set out a time-table for what needs to happen next to prepare the case for a four-week trial, starting on 6 June 2022.
Two other court dates were also set; one on 9 February to deal with any issues around the evidence in the case, and another on 13 May 2022 where the court will review the case, carry out a site visit and make final arrangements for the trial.
In court this afternoon the judge placed a requirement on Walleys Quarry Limited and the Council to exchange a raft of documents and witness statements and to build in space for expert evaluation of this evidence.
Simon Tagg, the Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, who was in court today, said: “Today marks the first step in the trial and it has been encouraging to have the path of the case laid out for us by the judge.
“This legal process is not something that we have entered into lightly and it should be remembered that we are taking this action on behalf of all of our communities, who have suffered unnecessarily for so long.”
In addition to the timetable for the trial the judge recommended that the two parties commence mediation. This is an established process to achieve a resolution for the community and would run alongside the legal process.