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Residents call for NRW to “step up” investigations at landfill site after potential breach of permits

Residents in a community near Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire have raised concerns about a putrid smell emanating from the Withyhedge Landfill Site which is leaving people feeling nauseated. Concerns have also been raised about water run-off at the site, which residents say is running to the river, the West Cleddau.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is the permit grantor for the site and are also the regulators. The landfill site takes in thousands of tonnes of waste from Atlantic Recycling Ltd, a Cardiff-based company that made contributions to Vaughan Gething’s leadership campaign back in 2018 - which is listed in the Senedd Members’ Register of Interests.

Once again, Natural Resources Wales has come under fire for not acting soon enough when residents began to complain in 2023 about the discharge of both smell and water, yet NRW claims that they have “increased their regulatory presence at the site”. Residents are not calling for the closure of the site but want NRW to investigate thoroughly the change in smell which is engulfing the community daily and the discharge into a brook which they say is polluting the river course. Reporting from the riverbank for ITV news, award-winning rural affairs correspondent Hannah Thomas said that there was an “acrid stench hanging in the air” as she surveyed with her own eyes the residents’ concerns.

Rachel Evans, Director for Countryside Alliance Wales, said on ITV:

“We will be watching this. Our concern is - if there are any breaches to any permits that have been granted by NRW - are those breaches being investigated thoroughly? We will monitor the outcome of those investigations and we would urge NRW to undertake this task diligently”.


The owners of the site are said to want to resolve the issue in a matter of weeks and have attempted to reassure the local community that the smell is not dangerous to the environment or indeed to the residents. However, some residents are not convinced and a resolution to the problem cannot come soon enough.

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