Protest group halted in legal action bid over incinerator

An artists' impression of the Hartlebury incinerator

An artists' impression of the Hartlebury incinerator

First published in News Worcester News: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

CAMPAIGNERS trying to stop a £165 million incinerator being built in Worcestershire have suffered a bitter blow - after shelving plans for a judicial review.

A group which has been trying to prevent the plant at Hartlebury going ahead has received long-awaited legal advice which warns against taking the authority to court.

The advice says if the court decided in Worcestershire County Council's favour, the campaigners would have had to pay unlimited costs.

Worcestershire against Landfill and Incineration, known as WAIL, were hoping that a 'cap' of £10,000 court costs would be set to allow them to proceed.

The advice means the group has scrapped plans to take it any further after trying for three years to get the controversial plant stopped.

As your Worcester News revealed in January, the incinerator has been voted through by the county council and work to construct it is about to start. Ray Kirby, WAIL chairman, said: "We've basically been told we've got no legs to run with it.

"The main issue we've got is that we can't cap the costs, so if we wanted to take it forward the potential liability, if we lost, could be anything.

"We were also told that while there may be grounds for a judicial review, if we went down that route it would not change the decision.

"We've got limited funds, so for us it was the last shake of the dice."

The parish council in Hartlebury had set aside £15,000 to meet any legal costs.

The news is a boost for the county council, but the battle with campaigners is not completely over.

A second protest body, known as Herefordshire and Worcestershire Action Group, is taking independent legal advice of its own and that process has yet to conclude.

The county council, which has handed the running of the plant to West Mercia Waste, says the incinerator will be in operation by 2017.

The plant will handle up to 200,000 tonnes of rubbish from Worcestershire and Herefordshire, burning it to generate electricity to connect to the national grid.

The construction will create 255 jobs, while 45 permanent roles will be available once it opens.

Councillor Anthony Blagg, the council's cabinet member for the environment, says the plant is "the best option" as landfill in Worcestershire is forecast to be full by 2024.

Comments (8)

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12:31pm Mon 2 Jun 14

brooksider says...

For 'best option' read worst option for Worcestershire taxpayers.
Even the Government say it is too expensive.
For 'best option' read worst option for Worcestershire taxpayers. Even the Government say it is too expensive. brooksider
  • Score: 0

5:03pm Mon 2 Jun 14

dontburnourfuture says...

Ahh but the Government are still lending the £165M for the capitol cost,( not £120 million) overall cost of £1.65 billion. So that we in both counties can get into huge debt over the next 30 years, when other councils will be getting paid for their rubbish. When it goes horribly wrong the Government will blame the council, but they will have all moved on.

Remember that Labour supported the Tories in this with the exception of Cllr Paul Denham , who was whipped away . So no more crocodile tears about cuts, They are both in it together. We will remember.
Ahh but the Government are still lending the £165M for the capitol cost,( not £120 million) overall cost of £1.65 billion. So that we in both counties can get into huge debt over the next 30 years, when other councils will be getting paid for their rubbish. When it goes horribly wrong the Government will blame the council, but they will have all moved on. Remember that Labour supported the Tories in this with the exception of Cllr Paul Denham , who was whipped away . So no more crocodile tears about cuts, They are both in it together. We will remember. dontburnourfuture
  • Score: 2

7:22pm Mon 2 Jun 14

prayer says...

WAIL is not the only group fighting to stop this incinerator being built so it's a little early to feel smug.. Also the Human Rights of the local community shall be violated living in such close proximity to the incinerator, I'd say they still have a leg to stand on.. in fact they have two to run with and lets hope whoever gets into power next see's the corruption involved here and justice is served!
WAIL is not the only group fighting to stop this incinerator being built so it's a little early to feel smug.. Also the Human Rights of the local community shall be violated living in such close proximity to the incinerator, I'd say they still have a leg to stand on.. in fact they have two to run with and lets hope whoever gets into power next see's the corruption involved here and justice is served! prayer
  • Score: -1

8:39pm Mon 2 Jun 14

dontburnourfuture says...

Amen to that.
Amen to that. dontburnourfuture
  • Score: 0

11:35am Tue 3 Jun 14

Where'sourmoneygone? says...

There is so much misinformation in this article.

The cost of this incinerator is way too high. WCC and HCC will be paying in excess of £120 per tonne to have their rubbish burned. Yet Norfolk CC recently rejected an incinerator that would have costs of £105 per tonne, as too expensive compared to other waste disposal options. Residents of Worcestershire and Herefordshire should be asking why so much money is being wasted.

The references to electricity generation are misleading - the current plans do not include connecting the incinerator to the grid (and the costs of doing so are not factored in).

There is excess incineration capacity across Europe as recycling levels increase. Big incinerators such as Amsterdam are offering cheap rates to buy in rubbish to keep them going.

So why are we paying for this white elephant?
There is so much misinformation in this article. The cost of this incinerator is way too high. WCC and HCC will be paying in excess of £120 per tonne to have their rubbish burned. Yet Norfolk CC recently rejected an incinerator that would have costs of £105 per tonne, as too expensive compared to other waste disposal options. Residents of Worcestershire and Herefordshire should be asking why so much money is being wasted. The references to electricity generation are misleading - the current plans do not include connecting the incinerator to the grid (and the costs of doing so are not factored in). There is excess incineration capacity across Europe as recycling levels increase. Big incinerators such as Amsterdam are offering cheap rates to buy in rubbish to keep them going. So why are we paying for this white elephant? Where'sourmoneygone?
  • Score: 1

12:47pm Tue 3 Jun 14

denon says...

What about the human rights of the people of Wyre Piddle, Lower Moor and Throckmorton who have had to put up with horrid landfill for years past and years to come....share the pain
What about the human rights of the people of Wyre Piddle, Lower Moor and Throckmorton who have had to put up with horrid landfill for years past and years to come....share the pain denon
  • Score: 0

1:09pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Where'sourmoneygone? says...

You are sharing the pain as your money is being wasted too. There are much cheaper, cleaner ways to deal with waste than landfill or incineration.

Hartlebury also has large landfill sites and these will continue to be used for landfill.

You should check your facts and ask your Council to act in everyone's interests.
You are sharing the pain as your money is being wasted too. There are much cheaper, cleaner ways to deal with waste than landfill or incineration. Hartlebury also has large landfill sites and these will continue to be used for landfill. You should check your facts and ask your Council to act in everyone's interests. Where'sourmoneygone?
  • Score: 1

12:10am Sat 7 Jun 14

dontburnourfuture says...

denon, yours is the argument they have used. to get you all to support this. Divide and rule and the contractor wins. Where'sourmoneygone? is so right and you can't see the wood for the trees. You don't need to landfill or burn but this is sooo expensive and it will cost people in all the villages you mention just as much as us. Cllr Tucker was one who signed this contract which was to LANDFILL A SET AMOUNT OF WASTE for 25 years I believe . 68% of the waste which comes to your landfill is organic, AND could be treated else where for half the cost of landfilling and a third of the cost of burning it. It can't be diverted from your landfill because it seems that there is a contractual obligation to landfill it, OR pay a penalty. The contractor also keeps all revenue from the gas generated from all that stinky methane.
Did you not know this? Ask the Tuckers , although they too do not know that there are other landfills in the county. You'll be paying for this for years. Allegedly!
denon, yours is the argument they have used. to get you all to support this. Divide and rule and the contractor wins. Where'sourmoneygone? is so right and you can't see the wood for the trees. You don't need to landfill or burn but this is sooo expensive and it will cost people in all the villages you mention just as much as us. Cllr Tucker was one who signed this contract which was to LANDFILL A SET AMOUNT OF WASTE for 25 years I believe . 68% of the waste which comes to your landfill is organic, AND could be treated else where for half the cost of landfilling and a third of the cost of burning it. It can't be diverted from your landfill because it seems that there is a contractual obligation to landfill it, OR pay a penalty. The contractor also keeps all revenue from the gas generated from all that stinky methane. Did you not know this? Ask the Tuckers , although they too do not know that there are other landfills in the county. You'll be paying for this for years. Allegedly! dontburnourfuture
  • Score: 1

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