Rancid smell hangs over homes in Clayton-le-Woods and Whittle-le-Woods at Christmas

Clayton Hall Landfill Site
Clayton Hall Landfill Site
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Unfortunate householders are causing a stink over a foul smell emanating from a landfill site.

Residents in Clayton-le-Woods and Whittle-le-Woods are at their wits’ end with the stench that they say has been particularly pungent in the countdown to Christmas.

Richard Harwood, who lives in Kellet Avenue in Clayton-le-Woods, said that he noticed a “little bit of an odour” when he moved into his house three years ago.

We thought it was coming from our drains,” he said. “We noticed it in the house, we checked the sink and disinfected everything.

But it was when Richard was on a walk when the former strategic energy consultant at Lancaster University realised where the odour was coming from.

“It just triggered in my mind that it was the same smell that I noticed on a visit to an anaerobic digestion plant,” he said.

Richard, who is now contacting lawyers over the issue, added: “Over the last 18 months it’s gotten stronger and stronger and stronger. Over the last three months the smell has been so powerful.

“It’s a thick and rancid smell, it leaves my eyes smarting and gives me a burning sensation in my throat.

“It’s really not acceptable. Last night it was just horrendous.

“When we walk into the conservatory it’s like an open sewer – it’s like it’s just getting through the walls. I can’t even sleep the smell is so disgusting.”

The pong coming from Clayton Hall Landfill Site has been reported in Higher Meadow, Harrock Road, Kellet Avenue, Spring Meadow and as far as Morrisons in Leyland.

Many residents have complained about the foul smell to the Environment Agency which has said that the permit holder of the landfill site, Quercia Ltd must improve their control of the odour.

A newsletter sent to residents states: “We require the permit holder, Quercia Ltd to take appropriate measures to minimise the impact the site is having on the community.

“They already have a specialist landfill gas management contractor on site to collect the gas on site to generate electricity but the company is aware they must do better.

“The operator has started works on site to improve capping and is installing more gas collection wells.

“This cannot be done immediately but gas containment will be improved when completed.”

Vice-chairman at Clayton-le-Woods Parish Council Mark Clifford has visited the Dawson Lane site and said he has received assurances that the company is doing everything it can to reduce the odour.

“Deodorising machines have been operational since Wednesday, December 20,” he said.

“These extra machines are expected to be able to bring the smell down before it leaves the site.

“The chemical is harmless and environmentally safe I’ve been assured.”

The Guardian understands that drilling bore holes to capture the gases and divert it to an engine which produces electricity for the National Grid is set to start on Monday, January 8.

Once pipes are in place work to cover the exposed site will begin but this is not due to be done until March.

When the Guardian contacted Quercia Ltd no one was available for a comment.