24 April 2018

Clayton Hall Landfill

We are aware that there is a large amount of concern regarding the Clayton Hall landfill site and the unpleasant odour it is emitting.

Letter sent to the Secretary of State

​Following the ongoing issues with the site we have written to the Secretary of State Michael Gove MP - we are awaiting a reply to the letter, which you can view here​.

Where is the site?

The landfill site, is off Dawson lane, Whittle-le-Woods, and the smell has been affecting the Whittle-le-Woods, Clayton-le-Woods and Buckshaw Village areas. The site is operated by Quercia Ltd.​

What is Chorley Council’s involvement?

As the site has an environmental permit issued by the Environment Agency, our usual involvement with nuisance such as odour and noise is conditioned by the permit and therefore we are excluded from taking enforcement action.

It is for the Environment Agency to enforce the conditions of the permit they have issued. 
Lancashire County Council is the planning authority for the site, so our planning team is in a similar position where action is restricted.

Although we can’t take action ourselves we are working with the Environment Agency, the site owner and other agencies to ensure action is being taken to tackle the problem and to help keep residents informed. 

Updates from the multi agency group

A multi agency group has been set up in response to the odours and includes ourselves, the Environment Agency, Lancashire County Council (chair of the group), and Public Health England. Updates from the group including key messages, FAQs and air quality monitoring results are available here.

What have we done to publicise the issue?

The issue has gained widespread media coverage across the region including newspapers, radio and television. It has been down to the operator to keep people informed of what it is doing to rectify the problem and for the Environment Agency to inform people of how to report the issue and what action they are taking. We have been pressing the operator to improve its communication, which it accepts hasn’t been good enough. 

To help we have been sharing all the information we get but we have not been able to get as regular updates as we’d like from them, which has been really frustrating. We have asked for a letter to be sent to all households in the affected area, at the operator’s cost, to ensure everyone is aware of what is happening and where to go for more information, but again this has not been done.

Aside from using the media and online channels all the information has been shared with partner organisations so for example if health workers are visiting vulnerable people they have been able to keep them informed about what is happening.

What about council tax rebates?

We have had several enquiries about whether we will give people affected by the odour a reduction on their council tax rates. We completely understand why people are asking this question because the situation is unacceptable for residents. Our view on this is that it should be the operator, which is responsible for causing the problem,  that should be putting something back into the community. It would be wrong for other council taxpayers having to take the burden or see services cut because of the operator’s actions.

What has caused the smell?

Work has been taking place on site which meant the operator has had to cut through the existing tip, which has led to the smell being created.

What is being done to rectify the problem?
The Environment Agency has carried out a number of checks to verify the source of the odour, identify the cause and determine the measures necessary to address the issue.
The permit holder, Quercia Ltd, has installed gas wells to try and solve the problem. This didn't work so an area is being capped in the hope that it resolves the smell. A gas audit has revealed a number of other improvements required and the operator is on with carrying these out.

What should I do if I have concerns about my health?

Public Health England is working with the Environment Agency and ourselves to continually assess the situation and provide information to residents on the odour being emitted. If you have any health concerns associated with the odour resulting from activities at the landfill site please contact your local GP of call NHS111. ​

Contact details

We understand this issue is a big concern for residents and we are doing all we can to get it sorted on your behalf but we’d ask people not to contact us because we don’t have any more information than is provided on this page. 

If you are experiencing smells you can report it to the site operator on 07961 403782 or report it as an incident to the Environment Agency on 0800 807060.

You can view the latest updates from the multi agency group here​

The operator is providing updates on its website here.