Scrutiny report on landfill site is made public
A much-anticipated scrutiny report has been made public by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council today.
The Council’s ‘Scrutiny Review and Working Party Walleys Quarry’ was set up almost two years ago, in April 2019, as a ‘task and finish’ group, with Cllr. Andrew Fear as chair.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic meant the review had to be paused but, since August 2020, significant progress has been made and several virtual meetings took place during lockdown via Zoom, with a large number of members of the public joining the meeting to observe and residents groups and other interested parties being represented by nominated speakers.
Cllr. Fear said: “This has been an extraordinary task for us and it has taken longer than we ever anticipated it would because of the impact of the coronavirus and the restrictions that have had to have been in place. More than six months after the review recommenced in August the scrutiny process has drawn to a close and during the period of the scrutiny process the concerns in the community have grown and grown and the number of complaints have risen massively.
“Members have heard through the scrutiny process about many concerns regarding the operation of the landfill site from residents and other concerned groups. The overriding concern has been the complaint of foul odour, and residents’ concerns about the impact on their health and quality of life.
“With the introduction of Zoom and virtual meetings as part of the process, we have been able to include many residents in the meetings and hear their concerns as a key part of the scrutiny process and it has been vitally important that they were heard.
“I want to thank all those who contributed to the process, the residents and their community representatives. Their involvement has been invaluable. We listened and will continue to listen to them after this process has ended while we try to bring about a satisfactory solution with the agencies concerned.”
The report confirms that the task and finish group heard many concerns about odour but also raised and discussed were the following issues:
- Increased tonnage, which was further updated to 400,000 tonnes.
- Concerns relating to waste vehicles accessing the site, condition of verges, material falling from waste vehicles, off-site parking of vehicles and mud on the highway;
- Wind-blown litter;
- Dust emissions;
- Public Health including concern about impacts on health, wellbeing and the environment in the surrounding communities;
- Nuisance from pests, gull activity and number of gulls.
The committee’s report will now be considered by an Extraordinary Meeting of Full Council dedicated to this issue next Thursday evening.
The report is available to view here: https://tinyurl.com/c58r89th
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