A LANDFILL site near North Swindon has been forced to temporarily close after causing a bad smell over the area for many months. 

The Chapel Farm landfill site near Blunsdon has been causing problems for residents, who have been logging complaints with the Environment Agency.

But despite attempts to solve the problem, the smell has continued.

Now, the site, operated by Hills Waste Solutions has been closed down on a temporary basis.

A spokesperson for Hills said: "Hills Waste Solutions offers sincere apologies to local residents who have been affected by odours coming from the Chapel Farm landfill site near Blunsdon, Swindon and would like to reassure people that every possible action is being taken to try and bring this situation back to normal.

"Since receiving complaints of odours Hills has worked with the Environment Agency on a daily basis to understand the reason for the odour increase.

"However, despite completing all the additional works agreed with by the Environment Agency, and undertaking substantial additional works which go over and above what is normally required of a landfill operator, the situation has not improved.

"Being mindful of the impact that the odours are having on local residents, Hills has made the decision to temporarily suspend landfill operations at Chapel Farm site with effect from today.

"Additional capping material is being moved into the operational area of the site to assist with sealing off areas where potential odours are coming from. A drilling rig is due to be on site to install further gas extraction wells in the operational area on Wednesday. It is anticipated that the suspension of landfilling activities will enable a full assessment of the installations and their effectiveness.

"It is however important to understand that the suspension of landfill operations will not, on its own, stop emissions of landfill gas / associated odours - it is the existing and proposed gas collection infrastructure that will ultimately help capture the gas.

"The site is due to be fully completed in July/August."

Landfill users are being contacted and where possible will be diverted to other waste disposal facilities. Some tipping may take place at the site today and tomorrow to accommodate customers who are already en route to the site and cannot be diverted.

The spokesperson added: "It is our intention that no further waste disposal will take place from Wednesday.

"This closure only affects the landfill operations and the mechanical skip sorting area will remain open and operate as normal, therefore there will be vehicle movements in and out of the site.

"Hills remain responsible for the environmental management of the site under the permit and will continue to be regulated by the Environment Agency."