A £500m energy-from-waste plant recently approved by the communities secretary is facing a fresh legal challenge.
Stroud District Council has launched a judicial review against Eric Pickles’s decision to grant planning permission to the Javelin Park scheme, to be built near Haresfield.
The case reached Pickles’ department after developer Urbaser Balfour Beatty (UBB) filed an appeal against Gloucestershire County Council’s withdrawal of planning permission in March 2014.
Stroud District Council, in which area the scheme is planned for, has weighed in with the legal challenge claiming the negative impact of the development on the landscape has not been properly considered.
A spokesman for the council said: “The challenge is based upon the inspector’s interpretation of Gloucestershire’s Waste Core Strategy (WCS), specifically landscape issues.
“Our aim is to have those elements applied correctly, in the way that they were intended, and to limit any adverse landscape and subsequent economic impact and maintain the beauty and the economy of the county.”
Pickles’ report found that the EfW plant would bring “substantial public benefits”, outweighing potential harm it would cause to some heritage sites in the area.
Javier Peiro, project director at UBB, said the company was disappointed at Stroud’s move.
“The legal challenge would be against the secretary of state’s decision although UBB will have the opportunity to assist in defending the case. As such, we await the details of Stroud District Council’s application and we will co-operate fully with the process as required.
“The facility is designed to manage the waste from Gloucestershire’s 600,000 residents that is left over after recycling. The secretary of state found our proposals to be in line with the relevant planning policy and WCS. This further delay only increases the environmental and economic cost to Gloucestershire of continuing to landfill.”
The project also faces opposition from within the county council. A call from Labour members for the Conservative- led cabinet to withdraw the scheme was rejected in a council meeting on Wednesday (18 February).
- The article was updated to reflect that the motion to cancel the contract has been defeated.