Letter to residents re sharing information with Walleys Quarry
The Council has written to some residents about the need to share information with Walleys Quarry.
Walleys Quarry Landfill Site : Statutory Nuisance Abatement Proceedings
We are writing to you to let you know that we have to share, with Walleys Quarry Limited, information that you have provided to us about their landfill site.
As you will be aware, the Council has issued Walleys Quarry Limited with an “Abatement Notice” requiring it to make sure that nuisance odours do not leave the site. Walleys Quarry Limited have appealed against the Abatement Notice and the appeal is ongoing at North Staffordshire Magistrates Court. This court process is an important part of addressing the issues experienced by residents, and has been driven by the experiences of residents articulated through their complaints to the Council.
The Court has made an Order putting the Council under a duty to disclose to Walleys Quarry Limited all “non-privileged” documents held by the Council that are relevant to the company’s appeal. This includes our records of complaints made to the Council regarding the landfill site. These complaints are contained within several databases, collectively containing some 30,000 individual records. Within each record is the essence of the concern raised and, in some instances, the name and contact details of the person who raised the concern. Occasionally, the complaints contain references to medical information about the complainant or another person in their household. It is worth noting that in many instances local residents will have provided these details in complaints that they have made directly to Walleys Quarry Limited.
You will appreciate that the level and nature of local concern about the odour from this site is the critical element of the Council’s reason for issuing the Abatement Notice. The information contained in the complaints is essential evidence of the nuisance that the Court will need to consider if it is going to uphold the Council’s Abatement Notice, requiring Walleys Quarry Limited to deal with the nuisance odours. Also, to ensure that there is a fair trial, the Court would consider it necessary for Walleys Quarry Limited to have this information in order to properly set out their case.
The Council intends to disclose these databases to Walleys Quarry Limited in accordance with an order of the Magistrates Court. The Council is entitled to disclose this information under Schedule 2, Part 1, Paragraph 5 (3)(a) of the Data Protection Act 2018. In accordance with court rules that govern the disclosure process, materials disclosed to Walleys Quarry Limited cannot be used for any purpose outside of the court proceedings.
Whilst we understand that some residents may have some concerns about this information being shared with Walleys Quarry Limited, the Council feels that it has no choice in the matter if it is going to comply with the Court order and make its best case at the appeal. If you would like to discuss any particular concerns you may have about information that you have provided to us, please email: WQdata@newcastle-staffs.gov.uk
Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council