Bid to extend landfill site with ‘horrendous’ smell sparks hearing calls

Two SNP councillors are urging the city’s planning committee to hold a hearing.

Bid to extend Glasgow landfill site with ‘horrendous’ smell sparks hearing calls LDRS

A controversial bid to extend the life of an Glasgow landfill site — which residents complain causes “horrendous” smells — has sparked calls for a public hearing.

Patersons of Greenoakhill Ltd wants to increase the capacity of the Hamilton Road site, but hundreds of people have objected to the plan.

Now, two SNP councillors, Alex Kerr and Laura Doherty, are urging the city’s planning committee to hold a hearing so neighbours can “make their voices heard”.

Cllr Kerr said residents have “made their position towards the proposed extension to Patersons’ landfill crystal clear — they have had enough”.

“Over 270 representations have been made to the application and the vast majority object to it.”

People in Broomhouse, Mount Vernon, Baillieston and Swinton have complained about the odour and the impact of heavy goods vehicles on roads. 

Patersons’ plan to extend the operation of the “valuable” site by another two to four years, and expect “significant continued demand”.

One objector, Audrey McGuinness, described the site as “a blight on our community” which causes “numerous issues” such as “noise, heavy traffic, road conditions, dust and litter”.

“There is also a considerable and significant impact from regular and prolonged horrendous odours.”

Another resident, Russell Reid, said: “I regularly cannot have my windows open at home without offensive odours from the site entering my home.”

He added dust from the site covers cars, windows, roads and pavements.

Patricia Boateng’s objection stated: “I can’t use my garden during the nice weather and I can’t hang a washing out. 

“My clothes end up smelly and have to be washed again.”

Elaine Campbell added: “The stench is vile and I cannot open windows, sit in my lovely garden areas, or hang out washing as the air is putrid. 

“There are also an incredible amount of flies and bluebottles that amass in my garden. It’s disgusting.”

Patersons intends to increase the capacity of existing landfill waste containment cells to extend operation by “an additional two to four years” before “ceasing waste filling operations”.

In its application, the company said, once landfill operations cease, the site will be “fully restored to accessible greenspace and an expanded Greenoakhill forest”.

It added: “It is clear to the applicant and encouraging for the environment that alternative waste management processes are being developed to replace the need for landfill.”

However, the applicant expects there “will be significant continued demand from its customers… beyond December 2025”. “Appropriate measures for the safe disposal of waste should be retained until alternative facilities are fully operational.”

The application stated the site is “ideally located” and “considered to be an environmentally suitable and efficient solution” for the area’s landfilling requirements.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) served a partial suspension notice on Patersons in January, requiring the firm to take steps to “prevent offensive off site odour”. 

It was lifted in February, allowing the company to accept all waste allowed under its permit. Patersons apologised for the smell in late 2022 and said site infrastructure had been upgraded.

SEPA previously fined Patersons £6,200 for a breach of its permit which resulted in offensive odour affecting local communities for eight days in June 2021.

Cllr Doherty and Cllr Kerr are among several Glasgow politicians to oppose the planning application, including Labour councillors Frank McAveety and Kevin Lalley, Conservative councillors Thomas Kerr and John Daly and Green councillor Jon Molyneux.

Cllr Doherty said: “It is crucial that the communities like Mount Vernon who have had to put up with this impact of the landfill over the years are able to have a direct input into this process.”

Alongside Cllr Kerr, she has emailed the planning committee to request members arrange a visit to the site then hold a hearing, which would allow those for and against the proposal to speak.

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