Walleys Quarry: Agreement reached over landfill “nuisance” notice

The owner of a waste site under fire for offensive odours has decided not to challenge a Newcastle-under-Lyme borough council ruling, following a mediation process.

Walleys Quarry Ltd withdrew the appeal against a nuisance abatement notice issued by the Newcastle-under-Lyme borough council. Both sides said they have reached an out-of-court agreement over the order.

A court order ratifying an out-of-court agreement has today been issued by District Judge Grego sitting at North Staffordshire Magistrates’ Court.

Walleys Quarry Ltd has been subject to numerous complaints from nearby neighbourhoods, with protests being held at the landfill site over the issue. The site released hydrogen sulphide, a foul-smelling gas that occasionally had been found to exceed standards.

The firm behind the site has agreed to pay £400,000 toward the council’s expenditures and £60,000 for ongoing site monitoring, according to the local authority, which means the notice is still in effect.

Walleys Quarry Ltd (WQL) acknowledged that the location was the subject of neighbourhood complaints, but stated that the council had recognised improvements to the business’s operations.

This settlement is hugely significant for the community and it was achieved by both Walleys Quarry Limited and the Council.

The company is working to reduce emissions by capping some of the site and capturing more of the waste-related gases. Both parties asserted that emissions from the site have “substantially decreased” over recent months.

Former Supreme Court Justice, the Right Honourable Lord Carnwath of Notting Hill, who led the mediation process, said: “Walleys Quarry Ltd acknowledge that the site has been the source of community complaint, and the Council acknowledge that Walleys Quarry Ltd have improved their operational practices such that odour emissions have recently reduced significantly and best practicable means are currently in place.

“The terms of the agreement reached by the parties ensure that an abatement notice will remain in place and require best practical means to prevent any repetition so far as is reasonably possible of any statutory nuisance and provide for ongoing reporting to give continuing assurance to the community.”

Chief Executive of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, Martin Hamilton, said: “This settlement is hugely significant for the community and it was achieved by both Walleys Quarry Limited and the Council working constructively with Lord Carnwath to get it over the line.

“The abatement notice, first served by the Council in August last year, is now in place and it legally requires Walleys Quarry Limited to stop landfill gas odours from causing significant problems for residents.

“Through mediation, we have been able to agree with Walleys Quarry Limited a range of measures, such as improved access to information about activities on the site, which should be of real benefit to residents.”

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