In a move to manage complaints about Levin landfill odours, the district council appears to be spending around $700,000 purchasing the landfill's nearest neighbour.
Property records show the lifestyle block at 645 Hokio Beach Rd sold last month for $703,000, 65 per cent above its $475,000 capital value.
While the records do not currently show Horowhenua District Council as owner, an HDC agenda paper last month said it was "finalising the purchase of the property neighbouring the landfill".
Owned by the Grange family since 1974, the 5.8 hectare property gets hit hard by wind-blown noxious landfill smells.
The family has previously said the smell first became extremely offensive in 2013. In a 2016 landfill consent hearing document, they described the smell as causing nausea, stress and embarrassment, and being unbearable.
A family member did not want to comment this week.
Last year, Horizons Regional Council issued an abatement notice to HDC to cease causing objectionable odour beyond the landfill boundary and fined it $1000.
Last week, Horizons regulatory manager Greg Bevin said the abatement notice was still in place but the landfill was compliant because there had been no recent verified odour complaints.
Malcolm Hadlum, from the Neighbourhood Liaison Group, an Environment Court created landfill watchdog, said it appeared HDC purchased the property to stop odour complaints.
"Because of its location, the landfill will always leak gas and leachate," he said.
A Tonkin and Taylor landfill report this year gave HDC three options, including one to close the landfill in 2019, Mr Hadlum said.
"All things considered: financially, environmentally, culturally and morally, this option is the logical choice. The sooner it closes the better," he said.
He said NLG had argued for almost 20 years that the landfill would be a massive burden for future generations because it was in an aquifer in porous sand country.
The HDC paper said because of odour complaints, purchasing the property was prudent to "annex the landfill".
It would allow officers to gain a better understanding of issues affecting surrounding properties.
HDC inferred that buying the property was a cost-effective way to manage odour issues. It said the long-term cost of managing complaints, including costs associated with its resource consent review, exceeded the property's purchase cost.
Horizon's next compliance assessment of the landfill is scheduled for later this month.