Council leader urges early decision on Walleys Quarry prosecution

Published: 10 July 2024

The image shows Councillor Simon Tagg, Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council.
Council leader Simon Tagg, pictured, says complaints have continued about odours from Walleys Quarry after work requested there by the EA was done.

Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council has written to the new Government urging quick approval of an outstanding request for the council to bring legal action against the operators of Walleys Quarry.

Council leader Simon Tagg has today written to Steve Reed OBE, the newly appointed Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), urging he back the Borough Council’s application.

The Borough Council believes the site operator has failed to properly control emissions from the landfill site in Silverdale and therefore has breached a court-granted Abatement Notice.

As DEFRA oversees the Environment Agency (EA), which is responsible for regulating Walleys Quarry, the Borough Council needs the Secretary of State’s permission before it can proceed any further.

Simon Tagg said:

The Borough Council’s powers are limited because the EA is the main regulator for the site, but we cannot wait and wait for the EA to do what is necessary.


For years our residents and communities have suffered the consequences of what is happening at Walleys Quarry. The fact remains that the problem has not gone away; residents still have this problem not only their doorsteps, or in their gardens, but inside their homes and we want to help in any way we can.


The formal process of gathering evidence, taking expert legal advice from King’s Counsel and building a case takes time but we need to keep moving and so I’ve written to Steve Reed requesting him to prioritise our request and to be pro-active in his oversight of the EA’s handling of this blight.


I’ve also invited the new Secretary of State to visit Newcastle to discuss Walleys Quarry with Council officers and myself.”

In August 2021, the Borough Council served an Abatement Notice against Walleys Quarry Ltd, requiring it to control the odour nuisance caused by the landfill.

The landfill operators contested the action, but dropped the appeal following mediation and the Abatement Notice became enforceable in March 2023.

Accepting that the landfill had been a source of ‘community complaint’, the company agreed it must control odour problems by ‘the best practicable means’ and to publicise information about what was happening there.