Resolving the odour issues at Walleys Quarry
Key elements of the settlement agreement
- Walleys Quarry Ltd (WQL) have withdrawn their appeal. This means that the council’s objective of having a legally enforceable Abatement Notice in place has been achieved. This is the best enforcement outcome that would have been possible to achieve in court.
- There has been one minor amendment to the Abatement Notice. The map of the area covered by the abatement notice has been amended to exclude the site itself, however the effect of the original notice outside of the site remains unchanged. All land and property protected by the original notice remain covered in the amended notice. This change was made as WQL are only required to abate the nuisance off site.
- The agreement recognises that various plans which WQL have in place (for example; Phasing and Capping Plan; Gas Management Plan) currently represent Best Practical Means (BPM). BPM is a set of plans and processes that should, if followed, prevent unacceptable levels of odours occurring. The council has accepted this on the advice of its specialist advisors who have undertaken a considerable amount of detailed work in reviewing WQL’s plans including critical challenge to WQL’s experts. This agreement also reflects the significant reduction in odours in recent months.
- The agreement recognises that what constitutes BMP changes over time, and it is for WQL to maintain BPM and demonstrate to the council that they are meeting BPM requirements at all time.
- The agreement commits the council and WQL to engage constructively and in good faith with one another, and for WQL to share information with the council relating to BPM, and for council officers to have access to inspect the site from time to time. This will allow the council to maintain an understanding as to whether the policies, procedures and practices adopted the WQL remain consistent with BPM over time.
- The agreement commits WQL to specific measures relating to Community Engagement, including:
- publishing its operational plans,
- providing advance notification of activities on site which might give rise to odours in the community,
- refreshing the Liaison Committee,
- and publishing recordings of its meetings online.
- It reflects the council’s intention to continue monitoring H2S levels in the community, WQL have agreed to pay the council £60,000 towards this activity, in addition to £400,000 towards the council’s costs incurred in responding to the appeal.