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Landfill Sites: Odour — [Sir Christopher Chope in the Chair]

Part of Special Educational Needs: Isle of Wight – in Westminster Hall at 4:15 pm on 25th February 2020.

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Photo of Aaron Bell Aaron Bell Conservative, Newcastle-under-Lyme 4:15 pm, 25th February 2020

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. I know of that case, as my father-in-law lives nearby in the village of Purton. Capping the sites off, as will eventually happen at Walley’s Quarry, offers residents some hope in the end. I recognise that operators are employing better technology all the time, but that is no consolation to people enduring the smell now.

I asked my constituents to contribute their thoughts and I will quote from some of their emails. Some constituents report “retching” and feeling sick from the odour, with others describing feeling as though they can taste the smell and it is catching the back of their throat. One described the smell as

“a blight on our community.”

Many residents report that they can identify the smell further away, sometimes in the centre of Newcastle, which is bad for its nightlife and day activities, or further north in Wolstanston and Bradwell. Other constituents highlight that they feel unable to use their garden, to open their windows or to hang washing outside. Most worrying are the cases of those for whom the smell is persistent inside their homes. The odour is also worrying for those with existing breathing difficulties and conditions such as asthma. They believe it is making their health worse.

I myself smelt the tell-tale “rotten egg” odour at times during my canvassing and campaigning for the general election, though it was notable that residents on the same estate had vastly differing responses to the smell on the same day.