UK residents to sue Castle Cement over dust and noise

UK residents to sue Castle Cement over dust and noise
Published: 03 December 2007

About 150 residents who live near Castle Cement in Padeswood, near Buckley, UK claim they have no choice but to take legal action because of the dust and noise they suffer.

They attended a public meeting in Penyffordd village to put into action their move to claim thousands of pounds in compensation from the company.

The action is led by CANK, the campaign group set up originally to fight the company’s attempt to build a huge, £64m new kiln at Padeswood.

Although that failed, the group is determined local people, who claim to have suffered years of nuisance from dust and noise, should have the chance to take action against Castle.

Castle has argued that since it switched production to its new No4 kiln, the £64m development which included a massive 360ft high chimney tower, the plant is more environmentally friendly.

The chairman of CANK, Flintshire county councillor Arnold Woolley, says he’s confident the action, for a loss of amenity, will be successful.

Hugh James Solicitors of Merthyr Tydfil, who specialise in taking companies to court to challenge their record on odour, dust and noise emissions, have been asked to take the case on.

Company spokesman Neil Stockdale attended the village meeting and says the firm already has enough to launch a group action.

“There was a very good turn-out and overwhelming support for proposed action,” he said.

“This case would go forward as a group claim and it would be for the court to then decide how to progress the issue.”

The company has a successful track record.

“We have a lot of experience in handling this type of case across the UK,’ said Mr Stockdale.

“We have taken action against a cement factory, a landfill site, sewerage plant and composting operations.”

Coun Colin Bithell of Penyffordd – the village closest to the factory – has fought for years to have a health study carried out on the effects of the cement plant. He is sympathetic to the court action for loss of amenity, but wants justice for all those who have suffered for many years.

“Now we’ll find out how many people will back this action. I think they have a case because basically Castle has been a nuisance,” said Councillor Bithell.

Castle’s old kilns were shut down by the Environment Agency because of dust emissions and they were eventually demolished when the new kiln became operational.

A spokesman for Castle said: “We understand there was a meeting of some members of CANK regarding operations at Padeswood in the past and we await to see any information as a result of this meeting.”