In May 2008, the Environment Agency hired a local, independent company to do some research into the impact of Houghton Quarry Landfill. This was an objective of their research:
"...The Environment Agency believes that it adequately regulates activities at Houghton Quarry Landfill. However, the local environmental group Residents Against Toxic Site (RATS) does not believe the site is adequately regulated and monitored. The group has campaigned widely against the site, stating that its negative opinion on Houghton Quarry Landfill site is representative of the views held by local residents..."
This was the outcome:
"...The views held by local residents do appear to correspond to those of the RATS group..."
The full report and verbatim comments are too big to publish here. RATS do have copies of these reports though, so they're available if you would like to see one
This report cost you, the tax payer, over £12,000.
Below are some extractions from the report:
The majority of comments were negative towards the landfill site and the effects respondents believed it to have on their area. Only four respondents commented that the site was well managed or that they perceived no problems with it.
A total of 73 respondents stated that the site should be closed or filled in, and others mentioned concerns over the site’s location; the smell and vermin caused by the site; and the lack of communication and information made available to them regarding the site. These points reinforced concerns mentioned throughout the questionnaires and the strong views held by residents with regard to the landfill site. A range of the comments made are listed below.
It should be closed down - if not it should be regulated more. I have flies all winter.
I won't use tap water at all. Even my cat gets filtered water.
It should be closed now. It is not properly regulated and it is dangerous.
[The] Environment Agency does not regulate it properly.
It should be moved to somewhere that's not surrounded by houses.
Need to do something about it, the smell and flies, it's not good for any of us living here.
Something needs to be done, our water tastes funny now and the smell is horrendous.
No problem if the site is well maintained and run efficiently. I think there
should be a public rep who can work with Biffa and [the] local authority so we have clarity as to what's going on.
Should send out paperwork with information so people would have the facts.
The RATS give us newsletters but because they are definitely against it, we're not hearing the other side.
Are they going to do anything about it? Complaints have been going on for years and years and I can't see anything being done.