Legal threat over 'smelly' Silverdale landfill business
FAMILIES have called in lawyers as they kick up a stink over smells at a quarry.
More than 25 families are planning to take legal action after complaining about odours coming from the landfill site at the former Walley's Quarry, in Silverdale.
They say the smell is so bad that they cannot open their windows and are overrun with seagulls.
The legal threat comes as Newcastle Borough Council and the Environment Agency continue to investigate the Silverdale Road site.
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Investigators have already found a gas-type odour at the business.
Campaigner Rebecca Braithwaite, aged 33, who has lived in Silverdale Road for eight years, said: "We are planning to take the legal action because of the smell.
"We were told it was a landfill site to take control of rubble and metals but, in our view, that cannot be the case.
"Some days there is an offal-like smell, which makes your stomach turn, but so far no-one will tell us what is going on.
"The smell is horrific and we have to keep the windows shut.
"There is no chance of drying any of your clothes unless they stay in the house.
"We want to know what is going on in there and I think we have a right to know."
Investigators have found hazardous materials are not being stored at the site.
An Environment Agency spokesman said: "We have been working with the owners of the site to find ways that they can use to minimise the odour escaping from the site.
"We will continue to seek improvements and will keep local residents informed."
Councillor Ann Beech, cabinet member for environment and recycling at Newcastle Borough Council said: "The smells are not hazardous. The council continues to work closely with site owner Lafarge and regulator the Environment Agency to make sure that complaints are dealt with.
"An investigation has found that the quarry is the source of a gas-type odour in certain conditions although other possible causes are also being looked at."
Lafarge Aggregates opened the landfill site for non-hazardous waste in 2007.
Spokesman Ruth Roll said: "Household waste in dustcarts is not delivered to the site, although industrial and commercial wastes from shops and offices may contain some organic waste.
"The current works programme – which involves moving a lot of clay and similar materials around the site – has been delayed because of the extremely wet weather earlier this year.
"The site management team expects the capping works to be completed within weeks."
Anyone with concerns should call company on 01872 799313 or 07849 725654.