Around 70 banner-wielding protesters turned out today for a demonstration against a foul stench from a controversial landfill site which they say has blighted their lives for around four months.
And they were joined by Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle, who is campaigning on their behalf, with the turn-out almost three times bigger than expected.
The demonstration was close to the Clayton Hall landfill site in Whittle-le-Woods, which is said to be the source of the odour issue.
It is estimated that thousands of residents in the towns and villages radiating from the site, have been affected in some way by the issue.
The protesters want to see the landfill site closed and are also threatening to seek legal action and are demanding that an independent air quality report is published.
Problems began to occur at the site, which is long-established, in October after the company which runs it, Quercia, began expansion work and disturbed long-buried gases, leading to the noxious stink.
The protesters are worried about the health effects of the odorous gases.
Quercia has expressed its regret about the issue.
The action group behind the protest is the Leyland and Chorley Stink Bomb, whose chairman, Richard Harwood, said: “The turn out today has been really encouraging, because 26 people told me they would be going and we ended up with 70, around three times as many.
“That shows the strength of feeling over this issue.
“Our MP is behind us, councillors are behind us and we will fight this all the way.
“The landfill site needs to be capped and then closed as soon as possible.
“It appears that Quercia did not carry out any kind of risk assessment when they commenced their work.
“Apparently they have said they are sorry it has caused so much upset, but an apology is not enough.”
MP Mr Hoyle said: “I think there is no other choice than to close this site and then launch a full investigation into how and why it has been allowed to fail.
“Even while we were protesting, a rotten smell suddenly wafted over and it was just awful.
“This situation is not acceptable and we need Lancashire Country Council, as the planning authority, to impose planning conditions as the site has failed to operator correctly, and the Environment Agency to close it down.
“It should lose its permit to continue.
“There is possibly even a matter for Public Health England to get involved as there could be implications from the gases.
“It is not acceptable.”
Mr Hoyle also raised concerns about the height of the landfill and said this alone was a serious issue.