Northern Ireland

Scrapped waste plan costs NI taxpayers £3m

The tender for the treatment of waste has been scrapped at a cost to the taxpayer of £3m
Image caption The tender for the treatment of waste has been scrapped at a cost to the taxpayer of £3m

A waste treatment initiative involving eight councils has been scrapped, costing the taxpayer £3m.

A tender process, begun in 2009, has had to be shelved under the threat of legal action and will not be re-run.

SWaMP2008 was a joint venture between eight councils - Armagh, Banbridge, Cookstown, Craigavon, Dungannon, Fermanagh, Newry and Mourne, and Omagh.

Last year, the Quinn Group emerged as the favoured contractor in a deal worth £500m over 25 years.

'Uncertain legal process'

However, it wanted to use partners and a bidder who had lost out then threatened legal action.

A SWaMP2008 spokesman said: "As a publicly-funded organisation, SWaMP2008 has reluctantly concluded that its interests, and those of its stakeholders, are not best served by engaging in an expensive, lengthy and ultimately uncertain legal process.

"Consequently the procurement process is to be terminated."

No contract had been signed with the Quinn Group.

The spokesman added: "While not in a position to complete the successful procurement waste treatment project, attention will now turn to addressing shorter term waste needs in the region."