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Delays to Gloucestershire EfW facility costs council £17m

Gloucestershire County Council has agreed a one-off payment of £17m to mitigate increased costs in its contract with Urbaser Balfour Beatty (UBB) to build the long-delayed Javelin Park energy-from-waste (EfW) scheme.

UBB signed a £500m 25-year contract with the council in 2012 to build, design and operate the facility near Haresfield.

But since then the project has been held up by a series of legal and other challenges that have led to increased project and financing costs.

Under the contract, UBB was required to set out a revised project plan if delays exceeded two years. The facility is scheduled to come into service in 2019, three years after the original launch date.

Gloucestershire council’s cabinet committee has now voted through a £17m revenue contribution, paid from its strategic waste reserve, to cover the shortfall.

Ray Theodoulou, council deputy leader, said in a committee paper: “This will provide the council with better value for money (the approach is equivalent to reducing one’s mortgage repayments by making a lump sum contribution).”

Javelin Park cleared its final hurdle on 10 July this year when the High Court rejected a bid by Stroud District Council to halt the development, on the grounds that the impact on the landscape had not been properly considered.

Before that the scheme was held up by Gloucestershire council’s own planning committee and former communities secretary Eric Pickles, who gave the go-ahead in January this year after calling in the decision.

  • North London Waste Authority’s application for a development consent order to build a EfW has been accepted for examination by the Planning Inspectorate. The new facility would replace the existing plant at the Edmonton EcoPark by 2025. It would take residual waste from seven north London boroughs - Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest - to produce heat and power.

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