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Veolia Shrewsbury incinerator scandal costs £824,000

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

Shropshire Council today finally revealed the full cost of waste giant Veolia's appeal against its own refusal to build a £60m incinerator at Shrewsbury as a staggering £824,379.

Shropshire Council today finally revealed the full cost of waste giant Veolia's appeal against its own refusal to build a £60m incinerator at Shrewsbury as a staggering £824,379.

And because of a council legal decision, taxpayers must pay 90 per cent of Veolia's legal bill – £759,505. When the council's own £64,874 costs are added, the full bill is £824,379.

Shropshire councillors had unanimously rejected the plans in September 2010 after a huge public protest. But because council officials had agreed to fund 90 per cent of any appeal, taxpayers now face today's bills.

The council today said nobody had faced any action over the contract.

Council chief executive Kim Ryley said the bill was 'the cost of democracy'.

The council will be paying off the costs for the remainder of the 27-year deal signed with Veolia in 2007, at about £40,000 a year.

After a two-month hearing, planning inspector John Woolcock ruled permission should be granted for the facility, which will deal with 90,000 tonnes of waste a year.

The council has revealed the figures following an appeal to the Information Commissioners Office by the Shropshire Star after the authority had turned down a Freedom of Information request as it was 'not in the public interest'.

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However, it has now said that the total cost of the inquiry is £908,769 – including a £64,874 bill for the costs of the council defending the planning committee's original decision.

Mr Ryley added: "The planning committee would have known that refusal application had the potential to cost the council money.

"But that's the cost of democracy. Protesters should not think the outcome of their challenges will have no costs to the wider public."

French-based Veolia declined to comment.

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See more coverage in today's Shropshire Star

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