The Council is currently receiving a huge number of complaints about the landfill site, issues with odours and associated reports of a negative impact on residents’ quality of life.
Residents can report any issues online at any time. Our officers will respond to all complaints. Please note: If you make a complaint, as part of our response we may call you. The callers 'identity' may read 'number withheld'.
Please report all issues and incidents
We wish to encourage anyone who is experiencing any form of negative impact, which they believe to be caused by the landfill, to report them to the Council and the Environment Agency.The Council is encouraging any residents who are suffering from ill-health, which they feel is a direct result of the issues associated with the landfill site, to consult their GP and also report those issues to the Council and Environment Agency. The Environment Agency (EA) is responsible for monitoring the site and also regulates the environmental permits held by Red Industries RM Limited (“the operator”) for Walley’s Quarry.
Here is a link to Red Industries' website: https://www.redindustries.co.uk/waste-services/landfill-disposal/
The Council is taking advice from Public Health England and other organisations in the course of their own investigation but need to hear from residents themselves.
Please report issues using the following:
The Council’s website form at the top of the page and the dedicated Environment Agency website: https://tinyurl.com/y58xlt8t
Via Twitter at @EnvAgencyMids
By telephone on 0800 80 70 60
Borough Council news release - click here
6 May - the Environment Agency's latest update:
Click here for the latest update
A letter from Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, to the CEO of the Environmental Agency, dated 4 May.
Please click here to view the letter in full,
29 April - news and reports
23 April - the Environment Agency's latest update:
Click here for the latest update
15 April - the Environment Agency's latest update:
Click here for the latest update
8 April - the Environment Agency's latest update:
Click here for latest update
1 April - the Environment Agency's latest update:
Click here for the latest update:
26 March - Letters arising from Extraordinary Council Meeting on 18 March 2021
26 March - the Environment Agency's latest update:
19 March - an open letter to RED from Aaron Bell MP
17 March Environment Agency Compliance Assessment Report - in full
We have carried out an audit into the landfill gas management at Walleys Quarry. This is part of our ongoing regulation of the site and also in response to the high level of complaints we have received.
Through our audit we have identified two breaches of the company’s permit. In line with our regulatory procedures, we have issued Red Industries with the actions they need to take to address these breaches.
The legal regulatory framework, and therefore the Environment Agency’s regulatory approach where permit breaches are detected, is to give operators a specific amount of time to respond to our required actions.
What is a Compliance Assessment Report?
This document provides a summary of our assessment, details where we believe breaches of the company’s permit have taken place, and the actions the company needs to take to return to compliance with their permit.
We have identified two breaches of the company’s permit, relating to the management of landfill gas and its extraction:
A significant breach classified as CCS2 in accordance with our compliance guidance. This relates to gas wells being disconnected while waste was raised to the levels required by the site’s planning permission. Whilst it is not uncommon for wells to be disconnected for short durations, we considered the length of time these were disconnected was not acceptable. We also did not consider this to be in accordance with the operator’s own procedures.
A minor breach classified as CCS3 in accordance with our compliance guidance. This relates to the failure to notify the Environment Agency that infrastructure to manage landfill gas had been compromised by flooding from surface water and failure to take actions to resolve this in the shortest time possible.
We have instructed Red Industries to better plan their management of the gas wells in order to minimise the time they disconnect the wells. We believe this will help to alleviate the problems with odour.
Following our ongoing discussions with the company, they have also agreed to:
Provide an updated plan of infrastructure for managing gas collection.
Submit the results of a surface emissions survey to be carried out by the site following completion of the installation of new wells in February 2021.
Ensure any planned disruption to infrastructure is managed in accordance with the site’s Landfill Gas Management Plan and it is for the shortest time necessary.
Install horizontal wells which pass through the waste being deposited on the active area of the site to collect landfill gas.
From 15 March 2021, submit weekly reports on progress with regards to gas collection.
By 26 March 2021, submit a report on their response to the complaints received over the weekend of 26-28 February.
We welcome the fact that Red Industries have voluntarily started to implement the actions required to address these issues. We will be closely monitoring their progress over the next seven days, and will make decisions about further action as necessary.
A much-anticipated scrutiny report has been made public by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council today.
The Council’s ‘Scrutiny Review and Working Party Walleys Quarry’ was set up almost two years ago, in April 2019, as a ‘task and finish’ group, with Cllr. Andrew Fear as chair - more here: https://bit.ly/2NgMNFQ
11 March 2021
A statement from RED Industries:
“We have taken the decision to voluntarily curtail landfill operations at Walleys Quarry with effect from Saturday March 13th 2021. This will enable us to accelerate the programme of extensive capping work planned for the facility, along with other infrastructural developments.
Soil, clays, filter cakes and engineering materials will continue to be brought to site to support the ongoing works. We will continue to extract gas and manage site rain water.
Nigel Bowen, Red Industries Chief Executive, said : "The voluntary curtailment of the majority of waste disposal activities is in response to community concerns and we will assess the impact of the changes made. We continue to work with the Environment Agency and relevant regulators throughout this process. Our customers have been contacted to enable them to make alternative arrangements for the disposal of their waste and we thank them for their patience and support."
Scrutiny Meetings - YouTube
Here is a link to the Council's scrutiny meetings re Walleys Quarry: https://tinyurl.com/yylza6zq
Additional information from the EA:
24 February 2021
10 February 2021
In a welcome move, and in response to the rising number of complaints from local residents, the Environment Agency has announced this afternoon that it will undertake a new air quality monitoring exercise at Walleys Quarry landfill site.
More here: https://tinyurl.com/y5lyr5nz
News releases - all available on the NewsNBC page:
What can the Council do?
This information below sets out what the Council and its partner agencies can do in relation to Walley's Quarry.
Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, The Environment Agency, Staffordshire County Council and Public Health England are working together in relation to issues reported by residents and concerned residents. Each of the four agencies has a particular role and these are discussed in further detail below.
If you have made a complaint about something which is not within the Borough Council’s remit, your complaint has been passed to the relevant partner agency.
What we can investigate and the law
The Borough Council has a legal duty to investigate complaints of “statutory nuisances” as defined by section 79 Part III of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. In respect of the complaints about the landfill these include:
- noise and vibration
Formal action under this legislation is only available where issues from the landfill are affecting “premises” be it at a home or a workplace and are causing an “actionable statutory nuisance in law”.
To be actionable by the Council, the evidence must show that there is a material interference with the reasonable use and enjoyment of premises.
The following criteria, based on legal decisions from the courts, are considered in this assessment:
- nature of the nuisance
- the time it occurs (what may be acceptable at a particular time of day may not be so at a more sensitive time)
- how often it occurs
- its duration
- how significantly it impacts on how a premises is reasonably used
- the locality in which the nuisance occurs – (what may be acceptable in an industrial area is not necessarily appropriate for a residential area)
- potential health effects
What legal action we may be able to take:
The investigations into complaints can take some time to carry out in order to be meaningful.
The Council is required to work with evidence obtained by officers and from people affected and evaluate this to determine if there is an actionable statutory nuisance in law.
Only where this is the considered to be the case can the council then serve an abatement notice on the person / organisation responsible to require that the nuisance is appropriately controlled. The wording and requirements of the notice and what the recipient is expected to and the timescales to achieve compliance would depend upon the circumstances of the case.
Where the Council believes that it is not in a position to take formal action, we will advise all interested parties.
Appeal against a legal notice and attending court as a witness:
The recipient of an abatement notice has a right of appeal in the courts on specified grounds. The time and dates taken to hear an appeal is set by the Courts.
Individuals who have supplied evidence may be required to produce witness statements and to attend court to help present the Council’s case.
It would ultimately be for the court to decide if on the balance of probabilities that a nuisance is being caused and if the grounds for appeal are established or if the notice should be quashed or varied.
What happens if a notice is not appealed or is upheld:
It is hoped that the notice would be complied with in its entirety and that this would resolve the issues to which it relates.
Should either the abatement notice be upheld or not appealed and once any time period for compliance has elapsed, non-compliance becomes an enforcement matter.
A further investigation would need to be undertaken to obtain evidence and again this may some time.
If there is evidence to show that there is a criminal breach, the Council must receive the formal consent from the Secretary of State to undertake a prosecution or to enforce the notice requirements as the landfill operates under an Environmental Permit issued by the Environment Agency.
Taking your own legal action under Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990/Private action:
Persons affected by a statutory nuisance can take action under section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
The Council is unable to offer advice on the merits of a case or alternative legal options. You should take you own independent legal advice.
Your Council and working with our partners
Where people are being affected in the community, for example when in the car or walking the dog, the Council is unable to take any legal action.
However your complaint and any evidence would be referred to our relevant partners. Please see below for details of their roles.
Staffordshire County Council
Staffordshire County Council are responsible for the following:
- Removing material deposited on the highway
- Determining planning applications for the landfill and for waste activities
- Monitoring compliance with planning conditions and taking enforcement action where appropriate
If you have made a complaint to the Borough Council about any of these matters, your complaint details have been passed on to the County Council.
In the meantime you might find the following useful:
- The planning permission restricts the hours of operation for most activities to 07:00 to 19:00 Mondays to Fridays, 07:00 to 13:00 Saturdays and no operations on Sundays, Bank and Public Holidays (Condition 10).
- The planning permission allows the importation of inert waste, non-hazardous industrial and commercial wastes and stable non-reactive hazardous wastes (Condition 8). Further restrictions and more specific waste types would be specified by the EA permit.
- The planning permission allows up to 880 HGV movements per full working week (440 in and 440 out).
- HGVs are permitted to access the A34 via any of three routes (Church Lane/Lower Milehouse Lane, Silverdale Road/Knutton Lane, or Cemetery Road/Keele Road) or they can use the A525 Keele Road if travelling to/from the west of the site. These are also available on our website here approved under the permission reference IDO/N/1 216 MW D4.
- The planning permission allows the landfilling operations to continue until 2042 (inert waste only after 31 December 2026).
Advice has been sought from Public Health England in relation to any reported health concerns and advice to GPs and concerned individuals. Their advice will appear here in due course.
Staffordshire County Council's website: www.staffordshire.gov.uk
The Environment Agency
The Environment Agency (EA) regulates the environmental permits held by Red Industries RM Limited (“the operator”) for Walley’s Quarry landfill site.
There are two environmental permits in force - the details of these are provided below (see permits). Within the permits there are conditions concerning the operations that the sites can carry out, including waste types and handling, emissions and monitoring. The EA regulation of the site includes visits, both announced and unannounced.
Representatives from the EA attend the ‘Walley’s Liaison Group’ meeting to provide summaries of the regulation and any complaints received.
Contact details for the EA:
Write to: West Midlands Customers and Engagement Team,
Environment Agency, Riversmeet House, Northway lane,Tewkesbury GL20 8JG
Telephone: 03708 506 506
e-mail: Enquiries West Midlands Environment Agency.
Concerns with odours outside of the site boundary, pests or any other matters relating to the site can be reported to the EA incident hotline: 0800 80 70 60
Walley’s Liaison Forum
The liaison forum meets quarterly and is attended on a voluntary basis with representatives from the county council, borough council, parish councils, operator, Environment Agency and residents representatives. A local councillor chairs the forum. Your councillors contact details can be found here
The forum discusses key concerns raised by the community such as odour, dust, noise, traffic and the potential health impacts on the local community. The site operator reports on their site operations. The Environment Agency reports on regulation and any complaints received.
Minutes of meetings can be accessed here (The Council is not responsible for content on Third Party sites).
Last updated 6 May 2021