The long delayed public inquiry into Nottinghamshire County Council’s proposed energy-from-waste (EfW) facility has cost the council an additional £5m.
Nottinghamshire county council portfolio holder for the environment and sustainability Cllr Richard Butler and county council leader Kay Cuttsnotified communities secretary Eric Pickles of the cost of the year-long inquiry in a letter sent ahead of his decision to reject plans for the 180,000 tonne facility in Rainworth, Nottinghamshire.
The letter said: “For your information, the delay in the decision on the energy recovery facility has already cost the council an extra £5 million so far. In the event the planning application is not approved now, then it will cause further delays of up to four years. This will result in further costs of around £6-8 million, which given the financial pressures this council is facing, will make it extremely difficult to protect important services such as social care of adults and children from cuts.”
A Nottinghamshire county council spokesman told MRW that the £5m costs had been incurred from landfill tax and the costs of transporting waste, but added that there was “no question” of cutting children’s or social care for adults budgets to pay for recycling. The extra £6-8m stem from the costs of further landfill tax over the coming years before a solution is found for the treatment of the council’s residual waste.
The public inquiry began in October 2009 but was adjourned three times before closing in October 2010.