The Environment Agency has revealed that it expects a “pungent” landfill smell which has been plaguing residents for months will be resolved in the coming weeks following works at the site.

Weather conditions have hindered work to resolve the smell which has been emitted from the Ashcourt site in Newton Aycliffe, but watchdogs now believe it could be fixed within four to six weeks.

Weather conditions have hindered work to resolve the smell which has been omitted from the Ashcourt site in Newton Aycliffe as watchdogs now believe it could be fixed within 4-6 weeks.

Ashcourt's landfill site, which it acquired from the John Wade Group in July 2023 was identified by the Environment Agency late last year as being the source of a methane smell seeping from gas wells.

Residents in Aycliffe Village, Newton Aycliffe and Brafferton have since complained about the smell, and held a public meeting on January 10 to discuss the odour which was later described as being "beyond a joke".

The agency then revealed they are investigating odour "issues" at the site, and a spokesman has now confirmed they expect the work to be complete within the coming weeks.

The Northern Echo: Brafferton.Brafferton. (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

Gary Wallace, Area Environment Manager for the Environment Agency in the North East, said: “We continue to monitor the work being carried out by the operator to improve odour management at Aycliffe Quarry Landfill.

“There’s been some delays to the completion of temporary capping works due to recent weather conditions, however we expect this to be complete in the next four to six weeks. We have tested the areas that have been capped already and results show this has been effective.

“We understand this is distressing for the community and we are committed to ensuring this work is completed as quickly as possible. We are also carrying out an investigation into issues at the landfill site and the resulting odours.”

An Ashcourt spokesperson recently said: "We are continuing to work very hard to tackle the issues and whilst we have completed a lot of work we have been significantly hampered by the weather which has impacted our schedule.

"However, we remain committed to resolving the issues and are in continual contact with the Environment Agency who are making regular visits to the site to monitor the progress."

The Northern Echo previously reported how residents in Brafferton say the smell is lingering in the village.

Two residents, who have lived in the village for decades, said they had "never experienced anything like this".

They said: "The smell is just awful when it comes over. We have heard news that it will be fixed, but we are sceptical. 

"At the minute, it feels like nobody wants to know about it."


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One woman, who also wished to remain anonymous, said the issue of a smell is now "beyond a joke" as she revealed she has complained to the Environment Agency several times.

She said: "The Environment Agency told us to ring each time we smelt it, so I know people have called multiple times a day.

"It gets worse at night, and it fills the house - you simply cannot get it out and it absolutely stinks. 

"Now, it's just beyond a joke. I've never smelt something like that in my life, it's like the back of a bin truck."