Liberal Democrat councillors in Gloucestershire have launched a legal challenge to the county council’s decision to grant a contract to Urbaser Balfour Beatty (UBB) to build an energy-from-waste plant.
The ‘call-in’ will freeze any start to the 25-year project until councillors on a scrutiny committee review the process that led to the decision by the Conservative-controlled council cabinet.
Lib Dem leader Jeremy Hilton accused his Tory opponents of taking “a huge reputational and financial risk” in awarding the £500m contract for the Javelin Park site when he claimed there were alternatives.
“We all accept that continuing to land fill is no longer an option, but the Avonmouth’s Mechanical Biological Treatment facility is a viable, cost-effective and far better approach to waste disposal than burning.”
The deal had been on the back burner since the government removed the PFI credits in the 2010 spending review.
Councillors who backed the UBB project said the deal would save up to £190m over the 25-year life of the contract because of the rising costs of landfill and energy prices.