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County Council reiterates action call for Walleys Quarry

Written by on 8 May 2024

Renewed demands for Government action over a problem landfill site plaguing residents are being prepared.

Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet will consider a report next week requiring it to pressure Government to take ‘urgent and decisive action’ over Walleys Quarry landfill site in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

After more than three years of communities suffering from foul odours from the site, the authority is expressing its frustration that the problem has not been resolved.

Mike Wilcox, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for Health and Care, said: “It is appalling that this problem should have persisted for so long.

“We know that the odour has caused health symptoms for some, while the constant threat of the hydrogen sulphide suddenly descending day or night in their home understandably affects people’s wellbeing.

“The Environment Agency is the main regulator for the site but the size and scale of the problem appears to be beyond it, and this is not something that local councils have the powers or expertise to resolve.

“We have already asked for a public inquiry into the Environment Agency’s handling of this affair, but first and foremost we want communities to have confidence that this will be sorted out.”

Alan White, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, has previously written to the Prime Minister, twice to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and twice to two under-secretaries at the same department, asking for action.

The county council, along with Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, called for a public inquiry into the EA’s regulation of the site after it emerged in autumn 2023 that machines used to measure air quality had been wrongly calibrated and were giving inaccurate data.