ANGRY families living near the Whinney Hill tip are to take legal action to stop the stench from the landfill site.

More than 40 have retained a top solicitors’ firm to sue operators Sita (Lancashire) Ltd after a 2009 action plan failed to stop the smells.

For more than six years nearby residents have reported smelling methane gas for miles, with the worst-hit areas being Altham, Huncoat and Clayton- le-Moors.

They have repeatedly complained to Hyndburn Borough and Lancashire County Councils, the Environment Agency, and Sita, that they are unable to open their doors and windows, or use their gardens during the summer months.

Specialist environmental solicitors, Hugh James, have now been instructed to represent the families in a legal fight to end the odour problems that have been occurring.

Partner Gwen Evans said: “The evidence we have seen suggests that residents have been exposed to an unacceptable level of odour from the landfill site.

“People in these circumstances are entitled to compensation for what they have suffered in the past, and an injunction to prevent the continuation of this nuisance in future.

“Those affected should contact us for more details if they would like to make a claim.”

A meeting will be held at Accrington Stanley Football Club, in Livingstone Road, Accrington, at 7 pm on Thursday, to discuss the case, and for those affected to find out more about the legal action, and their entitlements.

Residents affected by the odour from the site have been invited to attend to find out further information about the claim, funding, next steps, and to ask any questions.

A SITA spokesperson said: “Whinney Hill landfill site provides an essential service in the safe, and responsible, disposal of waste from local authorities, businesses and industry.

“All operations are undertaken in line with robust environmental legislation and are regulated by the Environment Agency.

“The company meets regularly with community representatives and residents to ensure the site is operated in line with its Environmental Permit and to provide a forum for feedback.”

The residents instructed Hugh James on a ‘no win no fee’ basis.