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Council votes to scrap £850m Viridor deal

Cheshire East Council has dealt the final blow to Viridor’s £850m waste disposal contract in the county.

The council’s cabinet this week decided to scrap the contract, following a similar move from contract partner Cheshire West and Chester Council.

The 25-year deal was due to dispose of 180,000 tonnes of Cheshire’s household waste each year. But £130m of government PFI funding was withdrawn.

The High Court rejected a bid by both councils to challenge this, and Cheshire West called in January for the contract to be ditched.

Cheshire East will ratify the decision to discontinue the deal at a full council meeting in April. A total of £2.8m of procurement costs has been written off by the two councils.

Cheshire East councillor Peter Mason said: “Cheshire East believes it has no other option but to formally abandon the waste PFI project.

“Both ourselves and Cheshire West and Chester have spent considerable time, money and effort in attempting to minimise the impact that the loss of government PFI credits would have on the project.”

Viridor development manager Symon Grasby said: “Viridor was selected as provisional preferred bidder for the Cheshire waste contract because the proposed mechanical biological treatment facility at the former Ineos site at Lostock Works met with the partnerships’ needs and would prevent reliance on landfill throughout Cheshire.

“We will now be taking time to review the implications of the decision with a view to deciding a course of action.”

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