Council Serves Walleys Quarry Ltd a Letter Before Action Notification
Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council has served the operator of Walleys Quarry a “Letter Before Action” as a result of ongoing and persistent odour issues that are impacting on the daily lives of local residents.
Council Leader Simon Tagg said: “Walleys Quarry remains a high priority area of work for the Council as we know that thousands of residents are continuing to suffer as a result of regular, persistent and offensive gas odours originating from the landfill site.
“The Council shares the community’s concerns and has over the last few months been carrying out its own investigation – a lot of that has been happening behind the scenes to meet legal requirements so officers and councillors haven’t been able to talk about it publicly.”
The Council has been working closely with multi-agency partners and have collectively ruled out the existence of any other credible alternative sources of the odour. Also, air quality data collected so far is consistent with the high number of complaints received, with the Galingale View area the most significantly impacted by hydrogen sulphide concentrations.
Cllr. Tagg added: “Alongside this targeted activity, the Council’s environmental health officers have been working hard to assess whether there is a case for statutory nuisance by witnessing and assessing odours in residents’ homes at all times of the day and night. This is with a view to serving an abatement notice, as appropriate, which can either prohibit or restrict the nuisance and may require works to be carried out by a certain date.
“Now that we’ve reached this stage, and following ongoing specialist legal advice, it is now the appropriate time to write to Walleys Quarry Ltd in a ‘Letter Before Action’ to give the company the opportunity to provide the Council with any information to satisfy it that the company has an effective action plan and acceptable timeline in place to prevent the emission of regular, persistent and offensive odours detectable beyond the site boundary.
“Issuing a ‘Letter Before Action’ is an essential preliminary step in the process that the Council must follow. A court would expect such a letter to have been served and the company afforded the opportunity to respond ahead of any legal action including an abatement notice.”
In the meantime, the Council remains committed to working with partners – including primary regulator the Environment Agency – to investigate and resolve the issues and encourages residents to keep reporting the foul odours using the following link https://bit.ly/2TaR0xa
Last updated 8 June 2021
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