Revealed: The smelliest place in Doncaster

View from Phil Mertens house, the smell is so bad in the summer that they have to finish BBQs early or not have them at all.
View from Phil Mertens house, the smell is so bad in the summer that they have to finish BBQs early or not have them at all.

A landfill site at Hazel Lane, Hampole, is the smelliest place in Doncaster, according to official records kept by the Environment Agency.

The Hazel Lane landfill site in Hampole was the subject of the most complaints over unpleasant odours in the whole of Doncaster for 2013 and the first nine months of 2014.

The figures, released following a Freedom of Information request, mention Hazel Lane in 31 of the 45 complaints made to the agency.

Some of the descriptions describe the odour as ‘six out of six’.

One last July described it as smelling like something rotting and came from a caller saying they were two miles from the site. In another complaint, on June 24, the caller also rated the odour as ‘six out of six’ and complained it made them feel nauseous.

The Hazel Lane site has been a source of concern for residents for around five years, since it began to be used for storing a product called Sterefibre – a material which was produced by a firm called Sterecycle through a process for reducing waste.

It was planned it would be sold to be used as fertiliser.

Residents say the odour has not been as bad recently as it had been at times in the past.

A Government planning inspector decided the use of the Hazel Lane Quarry was not appropriate for storing the waste because it was on greenbelt land, but it is still present because there is nowhere else for it to go.

Rotherham-based Sterecycle was given 15 months to move the waste off the site in August 2012.

The material is produced from Doncaster, Rotherham and Barnsley’s black bin waste and is processed to make it suitable as a soil improver and a medium for general landscaping projects.

Hampole and Skelbrooke Parish Meeting chairman Nick Balliger said there were currently more problems with general waste smells on the site, rather than the Sterefibre.

He said he understood the Sterefibre had not been moved recently, which reduced the odours it produced.

Mr Balliger added: “The main problem now is landfill smells. The cell they are currently working on is close to Hampole.

“The Sterefibre is still unresolved and if it is ever moved there will be an issue again, so that is still hanging over us like a sword of Damocles.

“It is a surprise to think we may be the smelliest place in Doncaster.”

Other complaints revealed in the Environment Agency document revealed a complaint against Croda chemicals and de Mulders in Bentley

Sterecycle went into administration in 2012 and is no longer in business.

Catplant Ltd spokesman Ronnie Harrod said: “We can confirm that the site has operated a working cell at the closest part of our boundary to the village up to September last year but are now in another cell working away from the village. “We have worked closely with local residents and authorities to address any issues raised.”

Doncaster Council planning committee was told in November that although there had been no further importation of Sterefibre to the site, the stockpile and purpose-built storage pad still remained on site.

Councillors voiced concerns over the enforcement notice being carried out and extended the deadline to remove the substance to April 28, while council officials obtained further financial information on the current assets of the land owners.