Traders whose businesses are being blighted by the smell from a controversial North Staffordshire landfill site are being urged to complain about the ‘stink.’
Business owners based in Newcastle-under-Lyme say the stench coming from Walleys Quarry, in the nearby village of Silverdale – which has been deemed the UK’s smelliest village – is affecting trade and leading to complaints from customers.
The Newcastle Business Improvement District (BID) – which represents the town’s traders – has lodged complaints with Newcastle-under-Lyme MP Aaron Bell and Newcastle Borough Council.
Now businesses are being encouraged to log any issues or customer complaints with the organisation.
Newcastle BID chairman Eddie Leligdowicz said: “We will continue to lobby on behalf of BID businesses, shoppers and town centre visitors for a speedy resolution to the ongoing issues.
“We urge shops, cafes, pubs and venues to log any issues they have with staff welfare and custom so that they can pass any information onto our BID team or to the council directly.”
Butcher Mark Anderson, from H Cheadle and Son, told StokeonTrentLive: “It absolutely stinks. The smell comes into the shop which for a food shop is not very good.
“It’s worst first thing in the morning. When it’s a rainy, damp day it seems to linger more. When they stopped tipping it seemed to work for a bit but it’s back again.
“The customers mention it – every day someone will say how they are affected by it. Something definitely needs to be done about it.”
Sharron Whittlestone owns Newcastle Pet Supplies.
She said: “It’s horrendous. It gives you a sick feeling and a bad head.
“When I come in in the morning it can be really strong in the town centre. We have the door open and the smell comes into the shop. It’s got worse and worse in the past six months. We shouldn’t have to put up with it.”
Georgia Phillips, who works at The Golden Lion, said: “It’s horrible. No one wants to smell that. Customers do mention it. We have had to close the doors because of it at times. It seems to get worse in the evening.”
Walleys Quarry is operated by waste management specialist Red Industries which is facing increasing pressure from residents who claim their lives have been blighted by the stench being given off from the site.
Since the beginning of the year, The Environment Agency has seen a huge spike in complaints about the odour – which have been likened to an ‘eggy’ smell.
And in recent weeks, residents have staged a number of protests in an effort to force Red Industries to cap off the landfill.
Last week, Nigel Bowen, CEO of Walleys Quarry Ltd, released a statement about the landfill.
He said: “It is clear that the situation surrounding Walleys Quarry Landfill is challenging and distressing for our community, staff and local campaigners. We understand that, as a business, we haven’t engaged or communicated enough with you. All residents have the right to expect the highest environmental standards.
“Rightly, local campaigners, including Member of Parliament Aaron Bell and Leader of Newcastle Council Simon Tagg, have called us out on this. Your voices will not go unheard.”
He added: “Over the years we have sought to build a viable local business at Walley Quarry Landfill site. We are proud to have done so, employing many people within the community and beyond, and contributing to the local economy and good causes.
“However, we have clearly failed to bring the local community with us. I hold my hands up on this. Regrettably, the result has seen an unsatisfactory situation arise in recent months where residents are understandably feeling that their worries and concerns about their health and safety have not be listened to.
“We do not think the reality of the situation is fully understood, but we are as desperate as you are to identify the cause, alleviate concerns and, ultimately, stop the smell.”