Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council says that a five month compliance period for Walleys Quarry to stop smell nuisance from the landfill site ended this week.
They say that since the Abatement Notice was first served in August 2021 there has been a significant reduction in odours.
Despite marked improvements in the overall situation the Borough Council is still closely monitoring the landfill site and any concerns will be raised directly with the operator.
However, if needed, the Council can now pursue a prosecution against Walleys Quarry Ltd if it considers the operator has failed to follow best practice and that the failure has affected the community. Permission to bring a prosecution would have to be granted by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs because the site is regulated by the Environment Agency.
Simon Tagg, Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, said: “This has been a lengthy process to get to the point where the Council has these powers and it is good to see the significant reductions in both off-site odours and complaints.
“There is still room for improvement, but the situation is much better and there is a greater openness brought about through mediation about what is happening at the site and the steps being taken to manage it on a day-to-day basis.”
In August 2021, the Borough Council served an Abatement Notice against Walleys Quarry Ltd, requiring it to control the smell nuisance caused by landfill operations.
The landfill operators contested the Notice, but dropped the appeal following mediation, putting the Abatement Notice in place and allowing the company five months to resolve the problem.
Accepting that the landfill had been a source of ‘community complaint’, the company agreed it must control odour problems by ‘the best practical means’ and to publicise information about what’s happening there.
Simon Tagg added: “We remain ever-vigilant and continue to monitor emissions in the area, while encouraging Walleys Quarry Ltd to maintain recent improvements.
“Any prosecution would have to be approved by the Secretary of State and prove that the operator failed to follow best practice and that the failure had affected the community.
“We will use these powers if required, but hope that improvements are maintained and render this unnecessary.”