District council to bring legal action over government approval of waste incinerator

Stroud District Council is to bring legal action over the Communities Secretary’s approval of plans for a £500m waste incinerator.

A spokesman for the local authority said the challenge was based upon the inspector’s interpretation of Gloucestershire’s Waste Core Strategy (WCS), specifically landscape issues.

“At the inquiry held last year the district councils, county council and those previously involved in the drafting of the WCS were all surprised by the way that the inspector applied the elements of the strategy which were designed to protect the landscape,” he said.

“Our aim is to have those elements applied correctly, in the way that they were intended, and to limit any adverse landscape and subsequent economic impact and maintain the beauty and the economy of the county.”
The cost of the challenge should not exceed £25,000, the spokesman added.

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Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Deputy Leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: "Any judicial review would have to be about the way the Secretary of State reached his decision, not about the merits of the scheme itself.

“We understand that one of the reasons the decision was delayed was because the Department for Communities and Local Government were keen to ensure it was robust, and not at significant risk of legal challenge. Even were a judicial review to succeed, its effect would only be to make the Secretary of State take the decision again - it would not necessarily change the outcome of that decision."

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