Lancashire County Council has expressed its deep concern after the company operating Clayton Hall Landfill said it may not finish work designed to alleviate an odour problem within a deadline set by the Environment Agency.
Lancashire County Council is the planning authority for the site, but does not have the power to revoke the company’s waste licence. It also has a role in protecting public health and wellbeing.
Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Director of Public Health and Wellbeing, who is leading a multi-agency group set up in response to the odour problem, said: “We are extremely concerned that Quercia may not be able to finish the capping work at Clayton Hall landfill site within the deadline given to them by the Environment Agency.
“We understand how frustrated local residents and businesses are with the situation and they have had to put up with this odour issue for too long.
“Our primary concern remains protecting the wellbeing of people living close to the landfill. Given this issue is going on for the last 3 months, I have asked Public Health England to review the evidence base to assess the ongoing risks to public health.
“We will also be reviewing the situation at a multi-agency meeting which is being held on Friday.”
In response to ongoing concerns from residents that the height of the landfill is too high, the county council has also commissioned its own survey.
The survey confirmed that the highest part of the site is at or below approved pre-settlement levels.
On this basis there is no breach of planning control.
The odour issue is not controlled by the planning permissions for the site but is controlled under the provisions of the Environmental Permit that is regulated by the Environment Agency.