Landfill site is to be capped

Seaton Carew landfill site towers above houses on the Warrior Park estate.
Seaton Carew landfill site towers above houses on the Warrior Park estate.

A CONTROVERSIAL landfill site is set to be capped and landscaped.

Bosses at Stranton Waste Salvage (SWS) say the landfill site in Thomlinson Road, Hartlepool, stopped accepting biodegradable waste – which creates strong odours – earlier this summer.

It is now only accepting waste such as soil and rubble, which will be used to cover the site before it is capped and landscaped.

The landfill has been a controversial issue among residents living nearby.

But councillors have welcomed the news that the long-running saga could soon be over.

The site is operated by SWS. Phil Lennox, director of SWS, said: “I can clarify that the landfill site has stopped accepting biodegradable waste as of July this year.

“We are still accepting some waste, such as soil, which will be used as a cover for the site.

“The site will be capped within the next three years and we are currently working towards that.”

Bosses at the Environment Agency say the site will still have to operate under the terms of its permit for the foreseeable future.

A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency said: “The landfill site stopped accepting biodegradable waste on Saturday, July 29.

“They can still accept some waste that will be used as a cover for the landfill up until next year.

“The landfill site has entered what is known as a post-closure phase.

“The site will continue to comply under the terms of the permit for some years to come.”

At one stage, officials from the Environment Agency were carrying out weekly visits either responding to complaints or carrying out audits.

The majority of complaints related to noise and smell at the site.

Angry homeowners in Harvester Close, Seaton Carew, who live yards from the site took action after they claimed it was “destroying” their quality of life.

A group of 23 residents formed RAWOOD (Residents Against Waste On Our Doorstep, RAWOOD) and enlisted Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) after complaining of noise and smells coming from the mound on the Longhill Industrial Estate.

They took their judicial review case to the High Court.

But the case was dropped in February after fresh hopes for a “timely conclusion” were raised without the need for a judge.

The latest development has been welcomed by independent councillor Mike Turner, who represents the Seaton Ward.

Coun Turner said: “This is welcome news.

“It is a situation that a lot of people, including myself and RAWOOD members, have been fighting for as there have been issues for a long time.”