Gloucestershire

Javelin Park waste incinerator can go ahead, government rules

Artist's impression of the Javelin Park incinerator Image copyright Urbaser Balfour Beatty
Image caption The incinerator will be built on land at Javelin Park near Gloucester

A £500m incinerator project that was rejected by Gloucestershire County Council can go ahead, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has ruled.

A public inquiry began after developer Urbaser Balfour Beatty appealed against the council's decision to reject the Javelin Park scheme, near Gloucester.

Opponents have highlighted issues including the size and cost of the 30-acre site and the environmental impact.

The incinerator will treat up to 190,000 tonnes of waste a year.

'Real disappointment'

In 2013 county councillors voted to turn down plans for the facility, a decision which went against a recommendation by the council's own planners that it be approved.

Gloucestershire County Council had already signed a contract with Urbaser Balfour Beatty to build the energy-from-waste plant.

Image caption Campaigners against the plans highlighted issues including the size and cost of the facility

Nigel Moor, chair of Gloucestershire County Council's planning committee, said: "The committee robustly defended its decision to an independent inspector at the public inquiry last year.

"However, we acknowledge today's announcement."

The leader of Stroud District Council, Geoff Wheeler, said the decision was "a real disappointment".

"However, we hope that the recent appraisal of alternative options by Gloucestershire County Council will see it review its intentions," he said.

"Whilst permission has been given, they could still opt for a solution to deal with waste which maximises recycling, maintains flexibility and minimises the impact on the environment and taxpayers' purses."

'Carbuncle'

Gerald Hartley from campaign group GlosVAIN said he was "disappointed" with the decision.

"It's going to be a massive Conservative carbuncle built on the fringe of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A carbuncle that none of the local communities want."

Mr Hartley said campaigners would now consider whether to appeal against the decision by asking for a judicial review.

"We'll also be considering putting it to the county councillors that it isn't too late to throw the contract out."

Javier Peiro from Urbaser Balfour Beatty said he was "delighted" with the outcome.

"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," he said.

The company said the incinerator will treat over 92% of the county's waste that would normally go to landfill, and generate enough electricity to power 26,000 homes.

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