On Friday 12th January 2024 there was a public meeting held in Rochdale regarding the many issues caused by the Valencia landfill site at Pilsworth. Unsworth resident Steve Middleton, leader of Bury Independents attended and spoke with residents on the other side of the border to understand how the awful smells and flies have been effecting their daily lives.

Clearly there was an increase of problems over the Christmas period and this is reflected in the large increase of complaints to both councils, the Environment Agency and of course all across social media, including hundreds of comments and complaints on Facebook. It is the belief of Rochdale residents that Valencia are in breach of their operating permit (this is on the basis of a letter sent to a local resident regarding their complaint that stated the Environment Agency had increased their inspections to twice weekly and that they are “working with the operator to bring the site back into compliance”).

The next steps are to increase pressure on the Environment Agency via residents regularly contacting them (whenever the smells or flies are present), via our local MPs and through the media. Steve Middleton has spoken to the BBC on behalf of Unsworth and Bury residents over this issue and the hope is that the Environment Agency work with Valencia to put and end to these problems.

It is expected that at some point in the near future Valencia will be applying to extend their existing planning permission beyond 2026 and, at that point, your Bury Independent campaigners are intending to object to this further planning application. We will keep you posted.

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