Labour councillors in Gloucestershire have called for an extraordinary council meeting to scrap plans for the building of an energy-from-waste (EfW) plant that has recently been approved by the communities secretary.
They hope to hold a vote to cancel the contract for the project. The £500m development, which is set to be built at Javelin Park by Urbaser Balfour Beatty (UBB), was granted planning permission by Eric Pickles on 7 January.
The councillors noted the secretary of state’s decision contrasted with the view of the county council’s planning committee, which had rejected UBB’s proposals to build the EfW facility ahead of elections in the local authority in March 2014.
They also said that, according to the council’s ‘Plan B’ working group, there were “viable alternative waste disposal solutions” available, for example material biological treatment.
Local labour leader Lesley Williams said the group did not have the resources to launch a judicial review. “Our only option is to ask councillors at the county council to cancel the incinerator contract.
“That is why Labour is calling for an extraordinary meeting. We know there are better ways of disposing of our waste than building a dirty incinerator that will scar the Gloucestershire landscape for years.”
The chair of Gloucestershire County Council is expected to decide by 23 January whether the meeting will be held.
The project has also encountered strong public opposition. According to a BBC report, hundreds of people attended a protest march on 17 January.
“The people of Stroud do not want the incinerator built,” said David Drew, Labour parliamentary candidate for the Stroud constituency. “Both the Tories in Westminster and at Shire Hall have ignored the public’s widespread opposition. Pushing ahead to build the incinerator would be a big mistake. It is the wrong technology in the wrong place.”