Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Cornwall Council paying 90% of Sita's incinerator legal costs

Cornwall Council has confirmed that it is paying 90% of the legal costs of Sita in the on-going legal dispute about the planned St Dennis incinerator.

The payments started after the Secretary of State made his decision to allow the construction to go ahead.

According to the reply I was given at today's meeting of the Waste Development Advisory Panel, the initial planning application, public inquiry and reference to the Secretary of State were all paid for entirely by Sita. However, since the decision by the Secretary of State, Cornwall Council taxpayers have been paying almost all the continuing costs as the decision was challenged in the High Court (and may be challenged further by those opposed to the scheme.

To date, the costs to the Council have been £136,818.

The Panel also heard today that Imerys are refusing to extend an option held by the Council on land for constructing an access road by a single week. If the incinerator goes ahead then a haul road is needed at a cost of around £3.5 million. The decision about whether the Supreme Court will grant leave to appeal (and therefore delay matters further) is due in very early July. However the option on the land needed runs out at the end of June. If Imerys won't extend the option by a week then a compulsory purchase might be the only way forward - a potential delay of 2-3 years at an annual cost of £13 million as well as other (confidential) costs. The meeting agreed that the Leader and Chief Executive should be tasked with negotiating with Imerys to get them to be more reasonable.

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