Police are not prosecuting a campaigner who chained himself to the gates of a controversial quarry in a one-man protest over the smell.
Nathan Wint was detained at Staffordshire Police’s northern area custody facility for around nine hours after being arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass.
The 31-year-old was later bailed and ordered to stay away from Walleys Quarry, in Silverdale, following his January 26 protest.
Now Staffordshire Police have confirmed that it is ‘not in the public interest’ to prosecute Nathan.
A police spokesman said: “Our enquiries have now concluded. He has been released with no further action. It was determined that there is no realistic prospect of a conviction and it is not in the public interest to proceed with a prosecution.”
Nathan had live-streamed his protest on Facebook as a crowd gathered to support him before his arrest.
He said: “I was due to go back to answer my bail but the police rang me a couple of days before and said, ‘you’ll be very happy to know that the case has been dropped’.
“It was claimed that I had previously taken part in activities to try to stop the day-to-day running of the business which was just totally untrue. I’d only ever been part of one protest which was on the other side of the road. I’d never even been arrested before.”
Nathan is still an active member of ‘The Landfill Stinks, Cap It Off’ Facebook group, which now has more than 6,000 members.
Nathan added: “Before my protest, I didn’t realise how many people were actually suffering health problems due to the smell, but there are so many. It’s always the same complaints of headaches and feeling sick.
“We are trying to make sure that everyone experiencing these problems reports them to their GP.
“We’ve had loads of responses from nurseries and schools because we asked them to report the smell too.
“There was one particular nursery which said that the smell was completely ruining their business and they were thinking of relocating because they can’t even have their windows or doors open and kids can’t go and play outside.”
He added: “We are trying to reach out to as many people as we can like big names and celebrities. We are trying to get everyone to tweet certain people at the same time so they definitely see it.
“We did have an email from Good Morning Britain, asking us for more information, so we are trying to push that.
“We had a big protest planned but we cancelled it because it would not have been safe with the current guidelines.
“When it’s safe to do so – when restrictions are lifted and households can mix – on the first available date, we will be protesting. We are planning to march from Silverdale Road to the Red Industries office in Newcastle.
“Our MP Aaron Bell has been fantastic and really helped us. He’s been out doing sniff tests all around Newcastle. He went across lots of different areas to see which were the worst affected and went live on Facebook. He keeps in touch with me and other administrators and we had a Zoom call with him where he told us what he wanted to do going forward.”
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Red Industries operates Walleys Quarry.
A Red Industries spokesman said: “Over the last six months the Environment Agency has completed 28 amenity assessments and formally visited the Walley’s site on nine occasions. It has also completed seven procedure and report reviews.
“This is an unprecedented level of regulation during which time we have been asked to address a minor permit breach relating to the removal of ponded rainwater at the facility. These removal works had already been identified by ourselves as part of our standard permit operation and works were already underway. We continue to operate the facility within the scope of our environmental permit.
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