A notorious landfill in Whittle-le-Woods has been ‘kicking up a stink’ once again and residents are calling for action to be taken to combat the smell.

Clayton Hall Landfill has a notorious reputation with complaints about the site stretching back many years.

Local people are once again complaining about the stench and how the bad smell is impacting their day-to-day lives.

On a Facebook page, about the landfill, people said the smell has left them “gagging” with another describing the smell as “absolutely horrendous”.

The Environment Agency said it has seen “an increase in reports of odour” and is working with site operator, Quercia, to prevent emissions of landfill gas and odour from impacting the environment and residents.

According to the Environment Agency, Quercia Limited stockpiled waste on the landfill which was above the permitted planning control heights. Action taken against them by the council, which has resulted in the reduction of the height of over-tipped waste.

Quercia maintains that action had already been taken to reduce the height of the tipped waste prior to the serving of the enforcement notices.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “Our officers have increased regulatory visits to the Clayton Hall landfill site near Chorley. We have seen an increase in reports of odour and would like to thank members of the public for continuing to report new cases of smells to us, to aid our regulatory investigations.

“Quercia Limited stockpiled waste on the landfill which was above the permitted planning control heights and recent action taken against them by Lancashire County Council has resulted in the reduction of the height of overtipped waste.”

“We will now focus Quercia Limited on the covering and capping of landfill areas at the site, including the installation of new infrastructure such as landfill gas wells and connecting pipe work. This work will help prevent emissions of landfill gas and odour impacting the environment and ultimately local residents.

“We are investigating why this issue has occurred and will hold Quercia Limited to account, using regulatory enforcement powers if they do not focus all attention to reduce the overall risk to people and the environment.

“We are also working closely with Lancashire County Council who have taken action under planning controls and also continue to work with Chorley Council and the Clayton Hall Landfill Liaison Committee to hold the operator to account.”

Quercia was issued a temporary stop notice, [when you stop accepting waste for a period] but says efforts have already been made to reduce the odour at the site, adding “that the volume of incoming waste has been reduced significantly.”

A spokesperson said it continues to liaise with representatives from the council and Environment Agency. A detailed action plan has also been submitted to the Environment Agency. 

A Quercia spokesperson said: “Prior to the serving of the enforcement notices, action had already been taken on-site to commence remediation works and reduce the height of the tipped waste. 

“We set this out along with other proposals in an action plan submitted to Lancashire County Council and the Environment Agency before the temporary stop notice was issued.

“We take all environmental matters very seriously including with respect to the potential risks of odour escape. As part of our thorough odour control process, we carry out a detailed assessment of wind direction and evaluate the potential odour escape. This is monitored on a daily basis. 

“Extra odour suppression units have been deployed whilst we carry out the works and mobile units are moved dependent on wind direction. Exposed waste material is covered up before finishing each day to further reduce odour nuisances.

“The Environment Agency are making regular visits and their last visit was undertaken on 14 February 2024. We are pleased to report that they were satisfied with the works taking place and the progress made so far onsite.”

If you wish to report an incident to the Environment Agency call 0800 80 70 60.