It was meant to be a great day for the people of Fleetwood, instead 'things are as bad as ever'

Seven-year-old Maliha at the weekend's peaceful protest
Seven-year-old Maliha at the weekend's peaceful protest -Credit:Jess Brown

It was meant to be a great day for the people of Fleetwood.

A stink which has been plaguing residents of the seaside town was supposed to have been vanquished. A deadline, set by the Environment Agency, should have marked the end of a months-long nightmare.

Instead, the pong remains. And some say it's as bad as ever.

Locals have been complaining about and reporting a horrendous smell coming from a landfill site on Jameson Road. On April 9, the Environment Agency served the operators of the site, Transwaste, with an enforcement notice stating the site needed to go back into compliance with its permit, with the deadline of today (May 15).

This included covering the problematic areas of the site, particularly cell one and five which were "inadequately covered to prevent the emission of landfill gas". Landfill gas emits a 'rotten egg' odour and along with 'bin waste' odour, this can be particularly troublesome for those living nearby.


It has also sparked concerns over impacts to human health, as the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) stated any risk to physical health is "likely to be small" but alarmingly it "cannot be completely excluded."

Residents have complained about headaches, nosebleeds and breathing difficulties in connection with the problematic site.

As a result of the odour problems and breach of permit, the Environment Agency served Transwaste with a Regulation 36 Enforcement Notice, as the waste management company were "not taking all appropriate measures to collect landfill gas in cells one and five."

Residents have been protesting against the smell
Residents have been protesting against the smell -Credit:Jess Brown

The notice reads: "In particular: The landfill gas management plan has not been revised to account for the current operation of the landfill. The flanks of Cells 1 & 5 are inadequately covered to prevent the emission of landfill gas. The uncapped areas of Cells 1 & 5 are producing landfill gas which is not being effectively collected in the landfill gas management system."

As the deadline surpasses, Transwaste issued an update of their own. Yesterday (May 14) ahead of the deadline.

The company's statement read: "Lining work continues, but initial external delays beyond our control and bad weather have delayed progress slightly. However, as we approach completion, there should be a cumulative and noticeable reduction in odour as the face is sealed."

This "noticeable reduction in odour" doesn't seem to be something the locals agree with. Jessica Brown set up the Facebook group, Action against Jameson Road, Fleetwood Landfill site gas smell, which has amassed over 2,500 followers. In response to Transwaste, she wrote: "How did we know this was going to happen.... delays beyond their control. I personally have not noticed a reduction in odour at all. Utter bull**** called it ages ago..."

On Saturday (May 11), residents took part in their second peaceful protest regarding the nuisance site. Jessica's seven-year-old daughter, Maliha attended and shouted, "stop the stink" on her megaphone. Others attended with placards and posters to show their disgruntlement with the local landfill site.

As the deadline has been reached, officers from the Environment Agency will be going on site to make assessments after the enforcement deadline and will give further updates when these steps have been done. The government body expect Transwaste to comply with these steps.

More gas can be collected and managed due to Transwaste's installation of six new gas wells, which was completed on March 28.

John Neville, Area Environment Manager for the Environment Agency in Cumbria and Lancashire, said: "We understand how unpleasant the odour issues are and we are committed to making improvements for local residents and the environment. We have increased our regulatory inspections of the site and our officers are out assessing the odour and its impact daily.

"On April 9, we served an enforcement notice setting out action the site operator, Transwaste, need to take to bring the site back into compliance with its permit. This includes covering the problematic areas of the landfill site by 15 May, which will help reduce odour emissions.

"We expect the operator to comply with the conditions of their environmental permit and stop unacceptable impacts on the local community and the environment.

"Members of the public can continue to report odour to our 24/7 incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60."