West Sussex bad smell prompts Lidsey landfill meeting

Landfill site (generic) The Environment Agency said heavy rain last year led to increased gas produced at the site

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Bad smells from a landfill site near Bognor following an increase in gas after last year's rain have prompted community talks in West Sussex.

The Environment Agency and site operator Lidsey Landfill Ltd held a drop-in session and Nick Herbert MP chaired a discussion.

Residents have called for the site to be closed down.

Lidsey Landfill Ltd said it strove to be a good neighbour and had made every effort to improve its performance.

Steve Hellyer, who lives in Woodgate, described the smell as "eggy" and "oily" and said: "It's unbearable. You can't use your garden. It makes people feel sick."

He also said many people had complained of headaches.

Mr Hellyer said 700 people had signed a petition raising concerns about the site.

'Continuing complaints'

Start Quote

Measures we have put in place have had a positive impact”

End Quote Mike Garfield Lidsey Landfill Ltd

Chris Wick, from the Environment Agency, said landfill sites generated gas when waste broke down but 2012 had been exceptionally wet and it was believed heavy rain had increased the gas produced.

He said the agency received 250 complaints from residents in 2012, and complaints increased from July.

The agency investigated and found areas for improvement including controlling liquid waste levels and managing the clay cap covering the landfill's operational cell.

Mr Wick said the site operators covered the waste with clay and installed extra gas collection equipment, but added: "There have been some problems with these measures due to further rainfall which has prevented them being as effective as we would have wished."

He said continuing complaints prompted the meeting on Friday.

Mike Garfield, director of Lidsey Landfill Ltd, said: "Our monitoring shows that the comprehensive measures we have put in place have had a positive impact and we continue to work closely with the Environment Agency."

He said landfilling on the part of the site closest to the residents would finish next spring - a year earlier than anticipated.

From spring 2014, operations would be in part of the site that was away from residents, he added.

He said planning permission for receipt of waste ended on 1 December 2015.

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