Scrapping plans to build an energy-from-waste plant in Gloucestershire could cost the council up to £100m, the local authority has revealed, as opposition councillors secure a meeting to try to stop the development.
Gloucestershire County Council has said that failing to proceed with the Javelin Park scheme will lead to charges of between £60 and £100m to be paid to developer Urbaser Balfour Beatty (UBB).
The £500m project was granted planning permission by the communities secretary in December after disagreement between the council’s planning committee and the ruling cabinet.
In his decision to approve the plant, Eric Pickles referred to negative consequences that abandoning the scheme would have on the local authority.
Pickles also found that the EfW development would bring “substantial public benefits”, outweighing the potential harm the facility would cause to some heritage sites in the area.
But Labour councillors seeking to overturn Pickles’ decision have now obtained an extraordinary council meeting, which will take place on 18 February.
They said the secretary of state’s move contrasted with the view of the county council’s planning committee, which had rejected UBB’s proposals for the EfW facility ahead of local elections in March 2014. They also claimed there are “viable alternative disposal solutions”.
Meanwhile, local opposition group Glosvain has said that more than 2,700 individuals have signed a petition calling for the contract with UBB to be scrapped.