Javelin Park incinerator: Motion to stop development defeated

Protesters outside Shire Hall
Image caption Protesters assembled outside Shire Hall where the council meeting was taking place

A motion to scrap plans for a £500m incinerator has been defeated.

At an extraordinary meeting of Gloucestershire County Council, the Labour proposal was defeated by 27 to 24 votes.

In January, plans for the Javelin Park site were given the go-ahead by the government despite having been previously been refused by Stroud and Gloucestershire councils.

The authority was told the cost of cancelling the contract could be £100m.

Crunch vote

By Paul Barltrop

The deal was done in 2012, and now looks certain to go ahead - almost.

The council has been grappling to work out what to do with its waste for a decade. But signing the contract in 2012 plunged the authority into debate and deep division.

Conservatives on the planning committee defied their leadership and opposed the plans. The lengthy appeal process finally got the plans back on track, but opposition councillors did not give up.

The crunch vote was close. Lacking an overall majority, council leader Mark Hawthorne needed support from others, and discipline from his own group.

This time none of them voted to stop the incinerator, and warnings of the potential cost of cancellation helped get UKIP on board.

The diggers could go in soon at Javelin Park - but may want to wait. Stroud District Council has begun a legal challenge. It may be many months before we get a final verdict.

Gloucestershire County Council had previously signed a 25-year contract with Urbaser Balfour Beatty to build the facility, near junction 12 of the M5.

There were protests outside Shire Hall, in Gloucester, ahead of the meeting.

Opposition councillors wanted the contract cancelled but after warnings from the ruling Conservatives that it could cost the county £100m, the plan was backed.

Those in favour of the development argue it is needed to deal with the thousands of tonnes of household waste generated in the county each year.

But campaigners claim the incinerator will create toxic emissions and ruin the landscape.

They believe by increasing the county's recycling levels the facility would not be needed.

Image copyright Urbaser Balfour Beatty
Image caption The incinerator will be built on land at Javelin Park near Gloucester

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