The developer of a controversial energy-from-waste plant in Gloucestershire has welcomed the granting of planning permission but may still face a legal challenge from opponents locally.
Urbaser Balfour Beatty (UBB) said it was ready to work with the local authority on the £500m development at Javelin Park, near Haresfield after backing from the secretary of state Eric Pickles.
Javier Peiro, project director for UBB, said: “We will be working with Gloucestershire County Council to make sure the project brings as many opportunities for the local people and the economy as possible and make a positive contribution to the effects of climate change.
“[The facility] will help divert up to 92% of the county’s residual waste from landfill while generating enough electricity to power around 26,000 homes.”
Pickles upheld the company’s appeal against a decision by the council’s planning committee to refuse planning permission.
Cllr Ray Theodoulou, cabinet member for waste, said that the approval meant the council will be able to treat residual waste “in a safe and environmentally friendly way”.
He added that the scheme would allow savings of up to £150m in landfill tax over the next 25 years.
The project has been strongly opposed by local campaigner group Glosvain. A spokesperson told MRW that the group was considering challenging the secretary of state’s decision.
In February 2013, it commissioned an independent report which concluded that the incinerator would not comply with EU and UK law and that the council had seriously over-estimated future waste requirements and the project’s economic case.
Shlomo Dowen, national coordinator at campaigning group United Kingdom Without Incineration Network, which supports local pressure groups, said: “We should be moving towards a truly circular economy, not building expensive incinerators that burn valuable resources.
“I hope that Gloucestershire decides to abandon their unsustainable incineration plans, and that the Government supports them to renegotiate or terminate their outdated waste contract.”