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Council Launches Landfill Investigation

A Council-led investigation into widespread reports of foul smelling odours in Newcastle-under-Lyme is underway.

The Council has developed a specific and comprehensive plan detailing how air quality will be monitored in the area surrounding Walleys Quarry in Silverdale using £70,000 recently set aside specifically for the investigation which has started this month.

It comes after the Council received an unprecedented number of complaints about the landfill site which peaked last weekend when more than 2,000 residents contacted the authority about foul smells affecting their homes, families and quality of life.

A total of £50,000 from the Borough Growth Fund – plus additional resources – is funding up to three months of air pollution monitoring using dedicated equipment as well as daily odour tours and targeted early morning and evening visits. This will be supplemented by specialist technical and legal advice from a QC.

The monitoring equipment will test for a wide range of gasses and substances including hydrogen sulphide, methane, oxides of nitrogen and air-borne particulates.

The Environment Agency (EA) – who are responsible for monitoring the site and regulating the permits held by operators Red Industries – is currently carrying out a new, and separate, investigation following pressure from the Council and local MP.

An extra-ordinary Full Council meeting has also been called by councillors so that residents’ concerns can be put at the forefront of a debate on the problems being experienced over a wide area surrounding Walleys Quarry.

Cllr. Trevor Johnson, Cabinet member for environment and recycling, said: “Residents have been reporting Walleys Quarry as the source of foul odours for some time now but in recent months the problem has really escalated. Today the Environment Agency has announced that Red Industries has breached their permit in relation to water gathering on the site.

“The Council is taking this action as people are at the end of their tether and want something to be done.

“We’re fully aware of the community’s strong feelings on this and are doing everything we can to support them and fight on their behalf. We’ve also set aside a significant sum of money to carry out our own investigation into what’s going on. After seeing things reach such a critical point at the weekend, we’ve been working hard to put the plans in place so we can launch a full investigation immediately.”

Residents are encouraged to continue reporting odours via the Council’s website and by contacting the EA on 0800 80 70 60 or e-mailing



Last updated 5 March 2021

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