PM promises crack down on smelly Walleys Quarry

The Prime Minister has personally thrown his weight behind the need to crack down on smells coming from Walleys Quarry in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

For months local residents in the campaign group 'Stop the Stink' have been protesting outside the gates of the quarry over fears noxious gases coming from the site in Silverdale are causing health problems for families living nearby.

People have complained of sickness, puffy eyes, sickness, nose bleeds and shortness of breath.

Boris Johnson was replying to a question from the area's MP Aaron Bell. The Prime Minister said how "infuriating" the situation is for residents and that action has been ordered against the operator.

He said that "permanent capping will begin on site next month, which will improve things for thousands of residents" and promised if further action is needed "to remove these malodorous vapours" that it would be taken.

The Environment Agency is monitoring the site and has already found it in breach of the terms of its permit.

They pointed us towards their latest newsletter which says that "Preparations for capping works on the largest open phase of the landfill continue and drilling work started at the beginning of this week."

Then next month a geotextile membrane will be installed on top of the clay formation layer which aims to seal the waste mass from the atmosphere.

"Permanent capping is expected to improve the containment and capture of odorous emissions, reduce the negative impact on neighbouring properties, and allow the capture of greater quantities of gas for destruction.

"Once this work has been completed, the largest mass of waste at the site will be permanently capped. Subsequent planned phases will be much smaller.  We expect these to be completed more quickly, reducing the potential for odour nuisance."

In response to the Prime Minister's words today, Red Industries which run the quarry, told ITV Central,

“It is regrettable that our MP, as the Prime Minister noted in his response, continues to ask the same question in Parliament. Equally regrettably, in this instance, the Prime Minister is mistaken is saying that capping of the site is as a result of enforcement action against it. 

"As owners, we have been carrying out extensive capping works for some time. This will continue until they are complete at the end of next month.

"The only recent interruption to this work has been when the protestors, whose case Mr Bell espouses, prevented lorries and their crews from entering the site to continue these works.  

“Mr Bell is, of course, welcome to come and see these works for himself from the inside whenever rather than standing outside with protestors.”