People 'suffering health problems' due to 'rotten egg smell' from quarry
An emergency meeting has been called following thousands of complaints about the smell of a quarry in Staffordshire.
People say they're disgusted by the smell of 'rotten egg' coming from the Walleys Quarry landfill site in Silverdale.
Labour councillors in Newcastle-under-Lyme have now organised a meeting after two thousand complaints were made to the borough council from people as far away as Trent Vale in Stoke-on-Trent.
It comes as a campaigner, who recently chained himself to the gates of the quarry in protest of the smell, has been told he will not face criminal charges.
Nathan Wint was arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass at the site on 26 January.
He was bailed and ordered to stay away from the quarry, but Staffordshire Police now say it's "not in the public interest" to prosecute Mr Wint and he's been released without further action.
The 31-year-old says that before he protested he didn't realise how many people were suffering health problems because of the quarry.
He says people have complained about headaches and feeling sick and the group is trying to ensure people report the symptoms to their GP.
Mr Wint live-streamed his protest on social media as a crowd supported him before he was arrested.
He is still an active member of the 'The Landfill Stinks, Cap It Off' Facebook group which now has more than six thousand members.
The campaigner says that nurseries and schools have reported the smell too.
He adds that there is one nursery that says the smell is ruining their business and they are thinking of relocating because children can't play outside.
Mr Wint added: "We are trying to reach out to as many people as we can like big names and celebrities. We are trying to get everyone to tweet certain people at the same time so they definitely see it."
The group says it had a big protest planned but it had to be cancelled because of coronavirus restrictions. They say when it's safe to do so it will be reorganised.
It's reported that Newcastle-Under-Lyme MP Aaron Bell has also being helping in the fight against the smell.
Mr Wint says the MP is carrying out "sniff tests" around different parts of the area to find out where the smell is worse.
A spokesman for Red Industries, which operates Walley's Quarry, says over the last six months the Environment Agency (EA) has completed twenty eight amenity assessments and formally visited the site on nine occasions.
The spokesperson says the EA also completed seven procedure and report reviews.
They said: "This is an unprecedented level of regulation during which time we have been asked to address a minor permit breach relating to the removal of ponded rainwater at the facility. "
"These removal works had already been identified by ourselves as part of our standard permit operation and works were already underway. We continue to operate the facility within the scope of our environmental permit."