Stop down-playing

The report in the Observer concerning the Lidsey Landfill ‘pong’, as your reporter chose to call it, recounts soothing words from councillor Derek Whittington, running the full gamut of feeble excuses, that cut no ice with those of us with lives blighted by the disgusting stench.

To say that it was ‘a small amount of gas escaping into the air, causing a localised and intermittent odour problem’ is insulting to say the least, when we first reported this to the environment Agency in June last year and have diligently reported as requested, on many subsequent occasions.

The problem can only be described as intermittent thanks to the variable wind pattern, shifting the concentration from one part of our area to another.

Travelling around the area, the smell is evident somewhere any time day or night, seven days a week.

We particularly suffer here, being due north of the site and thanks to the prevailing south/south westerly airflow.

The stench continues and in the benign, still weather of the past few days, has reached levels of concentration here in Westergate, that prevent windows being opened day and night, permeating parts of our house and making daily life, at times, extremely unpleasant.

I cannot believe that methane gas emissions even at these levels of concentration, do not carry with them a health risk, that’s before considering the added impact of heavy doses of deodoriser.

It really does beggar belief that the operators seem incapable of resolving this problem with a single action, rather than what appears to be a piece-meal approach of gas extraction wells, temporary flares, gas engines, not to mention clay-capping the whole site.

Surely this can’t be the first site in the land to face such problems?

So let’s stop down-playing this as a mildly inconvenient, intermittent pong and start calling it what it is, which is serious and damaging air pollution that is directly affecting the daily lives of a large portion of the Arun population.

Bill Jeffries