Bellhouse Landfill Site

Closes 31 Mar 2026

Opened 28 Mar 2024


Welcome to the Bellhouse Community Briefing Page

We have created this page to provide easy access to information on Bellhouse Landfill Site.

Bellhouse Landfill Site is run by the operator Enovert South Limited, under permit reference EPR/NP3736DS.

Since November 2023, we have recorded an increased number of reports of odour from Bellhouse Landfill Site off Warren Lane, Colchester, CO3 0NN.

We will keep the community up to date with any developments on our response to the increased reports monthly and will share any latest updates here on this page. Please check back regularly for further information.

Image above: Aerial view of Bellhouse Landfill.

What you will find in this page:

  • The role of the Environment Agency.
  • What is the Environment Agency doing?
  • Health related information.
  • What can I smell?
  • Are the smells causing or going to cause health effects?
  • What can I do to reduce symptoms caused by odour?
  • January 2024 newsletter- please see related documents.
  • FAQs- please see related documents.

The role of the Environment Agency

Enovert South Limited holds a waste management environmental permit for waste activities (disposal by landfill) and is also a generator for renewable energy. The Environment Agency regulates the site to monitor compliance with the conditions in the permit.

One of the Environment Agency’s responsibilities is to balance the needs of people and the environment. As part of this we are accountable for permitting and regulating landfill sites, so they do not harm people or the environment. We can never totally remove the impact, but it is our duty to set high standards for operators and require them to meet the permit conditions that sometimes can be complex.

The Environment Agency conducts regular inspections to monitor if an operator is meeting the standards that we set. When they do not, we investigate the environmental impact and then take relevant action. In doing this we have to follow both the law and the Regulator’s Code (set by government) which ensures we treat operators fairly.

What is the Environment Agency doing?

One of our focusses is to make sure that the site operator, Enovert South Limited, takes the right actions to minimise odour. We know that some types of odours are very distressing for people and that it can have a negative effect on all aspects of wellbeing.

The environmental permits issued by the Environment Agency include conditions that require the operator of the site to ensure they protect the environment and human health. In the case of odour, the operator of the permitted site is required take steps to “prevent or where that is not possible, to minimise odour to a level that is not likely to cause pollution, as perceived by an Environment Agency officer.”

Sites that have the potential to cause odour are required to use appropriate infrastructure, management techniques and abatement equipment to tackle the potential odour pollution. As the regulator, it is our role to robustly challenge the operators of these sites to ensure their systems are fit for purpose and operate effectively. Where sites are not doing this and we are made aware of odour reports, we will provide advice and guidance, use our enforcement powers or in serious cases, prosecute the operator of the site.

We are:

  • Increasing our compliance inspection frequency of the site and have additional Environment Agency officers working on the site. You may see some of our officers active in your area conducting odour assessments. We carry out these checks to substantiate the source and intensity of the odour in the area.
  • Investigating the source of the odours. Where we find unacceptable levels of odour coming from the site, we will use the appropriate regulatory powers to ensure that the operators fix the problem as soon as possible. Subsequently we have requested an ‘Action Plan’ for Enovert South Limited to comply with.


March Update

In March 2024 the operator started installing essential gas collection infrastructure.  The activity involves drilling into the waste, to install a pipe and gas control headworks. This action can release small amounts of gas and possibly a rotting waste odour on occasion, which unfortunately cannot be avoided. They are installing 10 gas wells, 3 of which were completed by Monday 25 March 2024 and are under active gas extraction.


We will continue to update on this.

Health related concerns:

We know that many of you are continuing to experience unpleasant effects of odour from Bellhouse Landfill Site. We understand that unpleasant strong smells can impact on wellbeing and will provide you with further information about this going forward.

What can I smell?

The odour from landfill sites can come from a number of potential sources.

One is the waste odour, this can be caused by fresh waste from vehicles traveling to and from the site and whilst it is tipped. This is similar to the odours that are contained within a domestic bin. This can be tackled by depositing the waste quickly and covering it with soils called “daily cover.”

Another potential source is landfill gas. This is gas generated by the breakdown of the waste inside the body of the landfill site. Landfill gas is mostly methane and carbon dioxide, which are odourless and colourless. However, the landfill gas also contains trace components such as hydrogen sulphide that, even in very small quantities, has a strong smell of rotten eggs, which the human body is very sensitive to. Although the smell caused by the trace levels of hydrogen sulphide gas can be strong and unpleasant, it does not automatically mean that it is harmful. Our sense of smell is very sensitive and we can smell hydrogen sulphide at very low levels.

Are the smells causing or going to cause health effects?

The human nose is very sensitive. There are many things that have a strong smell at levels at which there are no direct harmful effects to health. However, strong smells are unpleasant and can impact on wellbeing leading to stress and anxiety. Some people may also experience symptoms, such as nausea, headaches, or dizziness, as a reaction to strong smells, even when the substances that cause those smells are themselves not harmful to health.

We are not the leading authority on health so we cannot comment on the effects of odour on health. For more detailed information, please see the UK Health Security Agency site Impacts on health of emissions from landfill sites - GOV.UK (

What can I do to reduce symptoms caused by odour?

In order to limit the effects of the odour as much as possible, we would advise:

  • Odours can be transient and are more likely to occur overnight and in the early hours of the morning when weather conditions are calm and still. Close windows in the evenings if there is an outdoor odour and open them in the morning once any outdoor odour has reduced.
  • Ventilate your property when there is no odour outdoors.
  • Contact NHS 111 or your GP if you have concerns about your individual circumstances and require health advice.



Reporting Odour

We would like to thank the people who have taken the time to report odours.

This information is instrumental and helps us to build a picture of the extent and impact of the issue.

We encourage residents to continue to report odour to our free 24/7 incident hotline on: 0800 80 70 60.


  • Businesses
  • Charities
  • Statutory organisations
  • NGOs
  • Members of the public
  • Elected representatives, including MPs
  • Local councils
  • Academics
  • The nuclear industry
  • All water abstractors
  • Environment Agency customers


  • Installation