Construction work on a controversial new £60 million incinerator on the outskirts of Shrewsbury will not be postponed by a last-ditch legal challenge by environmental campaigners, lawyers for Shropshire Council have said.
Shrewsbury Friends of the Earth are attempting to halt the building of the burner at the Battlefield Enterprise Park and have lodged papers with the Administrative Court in Birmingham to call for a judicial review of the council’s contract with waste giant Veolia.
The organisation wants the building of the incinerator to be postponed to allow the financial case for the Energy from Waste (EfW) facility to be examined by an independent judge.
But with Veolia expected to announce a start date for construction this autumn, lawyers for Shropshire Council have said the authority will be opposing any moves to postpone the work.
A letter from Birmingham-based Wragge and Co to Shrewsbury Friends of the Earth said the council would also seek costs from the environmental group should the review bid be rejected.
“The council will vigorously oppose any application for permission made by Shrewsbury Friends of the Earth in this matter and you are put on notice that an order for its costs will be sought in the event that permission is refused,” it said. “For the sake of clarification, the council does not propose to ask Veolia to postpone the scheduled construction of the EfW facility.”
Mark Phillips, from Shrewsbury Friends of the Earth, said it would now seek a protective costs order from the court before serving proceedings on the council. He said the court could set an upper limit on how much Friends of the Earth would have to pay, allowing them to continue with their legal challenge.