Please report all issues and incidents
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'. 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 Walleys Quarry Ltd. (formerley known as Red Industries RM Limited) - the operator.
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
If the situation is affecting your mental health, support is available. Please see contact details below.
- Staffordshire Mental Health Helpline at any time on 0808 800 2234 or text 07860 022821;
- North Staffordshire Mind on 01782 262100;
- Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Wellbeing Service (IAPT) with self-referral available online or by telephone 0300 303 0923;
- North Staffordshire Urgent Mental Health helpline (and Crisis Care centre in Stoke) on 0300 123 0907
There are several sources of help on Staffordshire County Council’s website: https://tinyurl.com/vhdvpj alongside more information on the public health impacts of the landfill odours in the Silverdale and wider Newcastle-under-Lyme area, here: https://tinyurl.com/f32fa7ws
Anyone experiencing significant mental health issues is advised to see their GP for a referral to primary care mental health services.
Here are links to the websites of the operator of the landfill, Walleys Quarry Ltd. (formerly known as RED Industries):
Latest news - Environment Agency (EA)
Here is a link to the EA's 'Citizen Space' page for all the latest updates and the archived news.
Borough Council news relating to Walleys Quarry
Timeline order - most recent at the top
16 September 2021
Council response to High Court ruling - here
3 September 2021
Council response to appeal against statutory notice - here
13 August 2021
Council serves Statutory Nuisance Abatement Notice on Walleys Quarry - news release here
26 July 2021
Here is a link to Staffordshire Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee 26/07/2021, held at Castle House in Newcastle, re Walleys Quarry and the health impacts on residents
21 July 2021
Click here to view the Special Cabinet meeting re Walleys Quarry - approval of £million fund for legal battle against Walleys Quarry Ltd.
also 21 July 2021
6 July 2021
Strategic Control Group - Partners hold community engagement online meeting - news release here
23 June 2021
Response to the Council's Letter Before Action - click here
17 June 2021
Support in place for residents suffering from landfill odour - news release here
9 June 2021
Cabinet meeting - agenda item update on Walleys Quarry
8 June 2021
Council Serves Walleys Quarry Ltd a Letter Before Action Notification - news release here
28 May 2021
Residents urged to continue reporting symptoms from odour problems - news release here
18 May 2021
Letter from Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council's Chief Executive, Martin Hamilton, to Rebecca Pow MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. Click here to view the letter in full.
14 May 2021
Letter from Alan White, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, to CEO Red Industries Nigel Bowen. Click here to see the letter in full.
7 May 2021
Council seeks urgent action re Walleys - news release here
A letter from Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, to the CEO of the Environmental Agency. Please click here to view the letter in full.
29 April 2021 - news and reports
21 April 2021 - Cabinet - Agenda item update on odour from Walleys Quarry
26 March 2021 - Letters arising from Extraordinary Council Meeting on 18 March 2021
18 March 2021
Extraordinary Meeting of the Council re Walleys Quarry - to review the findings of the Scruting Task and Finish Group Here is a link to the meeting papers and recording of the meeting
12 March 2021
11 March 2021
A statement from Red Industries on curtailing operations at the landfill - click here
5 March 2021
Council Launches Landfill Investigation - news release here
3 March 2021
Agency bows to pressure and agrees three-month air-quality monitoring at Walleys Quarry - news release here
2 February 2021
Council to fund urgent specialist advice on landfill odours - news release here
16 November 2020
Landfill Working Party Stages Third Meeting - news release here
5 October 2020
Landfill Inquiry Enters Second Stage - news release here
19 August 2020
Working Party Wants More Views about Landfill Site - news release here
12 August 2020
The Council's Scrutiny Task and Finish Working Party - Walleys Quarry - open meeting with reporesentations from community groups and residents - link here
5 August 2020
Council Hears about Landfill Concerns - news release here
14 February 2020
Scrutiny of landfill site to take place - news release here
Further information re partner organisations' responsibilities in relation to Walleys Quarry
What can the Borough Council do?
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. 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.
Staffordshire County Council (www.staffordshire.gov.uk)
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.
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
Frequently Asked Questions are available at the side bar to this page.
Last updated 17 September 2021