Residents living near landfill site on outskirts of Rugby may have to endure another decade of disruption

Disgruntled residents living near to a landfill site on the outskirts of Rugby may have to endure another decade of disruption after operators Veolia were given permission to use the land for another ten years.

Photo: Google Streetview.

But county councillors have urged company bosses to reach out to members of the community who say many of their complaints regarding litter and smells have fallen on deaf ears.

Members of Warwickshire County Council’s regulatory committee this week (November 3) approved plans to extend the life of the Ling Hall Quarry landfill site, in Coalpit Lane, Lawford Heath, until 2031.

Planning officer Sally Panayi explained that there would have been implications if permission was not granted.

She said: “We can’t guarantee that it will be completed in that time but that is the aim. If this is left with the hollow in the middle it will leave other issues so it does need to be completed.

“If they didn’t get consent to complete the landfill with the household waste they would still need to import material to make the site safe and to ensure that it doesn’t flood and cause issues of drainage of landfill gas escape.”

The meeting was told that there had been nine objections from those living in the surrounding areas and some of their concerns were included in a report to accompany the plans.

One read: “The site does not and never has followed the rules correctly, hurting us directly and indirectly.

“Over the years we wrote to you [Warwickshire County Council] about problems a number of times and only once has WCC ever done anything – on that occasion the site operators simply denied illicit working over the weekend. The WCC effectively did nothing except insult us by implying that we lied.

“We eventually gave up complaining as it has proved to be an utter waste of time. It became obvious that WCC was not prepared to protect us at all.”

Objector Dale Aston, who owns a neighbouring farm, spoke at the meeting to outline problems he had experienced relating to odour, air quality, litter and flooding.

Cllr David Reilly (Con, Coleshill North and Water Orton) offered his support.

He said: “My own view is that we need some tighter conditions - first of all to do with the litter and then, potentially, to explore all options around the odour.

“There is such a small residential community and I cannot believe that such a multinational company like Veolia cannot put mitigation in place.

“While the statutory consultees don’t have a problem it is clear that the residents do have an issue and I do feel the operator could do something to support the residents.”

Councillors approved the ten-year extension but committee chairman Cllr Mark Cargill (Con, Alcester) added: “I will be very interested to see if the developers of the site contact me with regards to anything they think they could do for the community.”