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CHAIN "appalled" with council's decision not to fight waste plant
OPPONENTS against an energy from waste plan approved for Lostock Gralam have been left “appalled” and “disgusted” after Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) decided not to take legal action against the plans.
Campaigners were left reeling after the Government announced its decision to allow Tata Chemicals Europe and E.ON to build the sustainable energy plant of Griffiths Road, but felt some relief after CWAC decided to see if it had grounds to challenge the plans.
However, after seeking advice from counsel, CWAC has decided it would be “irresponsible” to risk large amounts of taxpayers’ money pursuing a case deemed unsustainable.
A spokesperson for Cheshire Anti Incinerator Network (CHAIN) said: “On behalf of our thousands of supporters, CHAIN is appalled and disgusted with CWAC’s decision not to support the people of Northwich and treat them as second class citizens yet again.
“You can bet that if the TATA monstrosity were going up less than a mile from the centre of Chester that a very different view would be taken.
“CHAIN with others continues to examine the possibility of mounting a legal challenge including the involvement of a QC.
“Several people have contacted us to say that their Council Tax would be better spent on financing legal action to prevent the quality of their lives being ruined by the waste incinerator.”
Leader of CWAC, Clr Mike Jones, said: “This Council strongly objected to the proposal and represented those objections at the enquiry.
“It made no secret of its concerns at the decision and promptly instructed leading counsel to advise on the possibilities of seeking Judicial Review.
“Whilst initial legal advice discounted grounds for success, counsel is currently reviewing further points put to the authority by local members.
“Should the advice remain unchanged, it would be patently irresponsible to risk large amounts of taxpayers’ money – estimated at around £100,000 – pursuing a case deemed unsuitable.
“Such expenditure, flying in the face of expert advice, would be unlikely to escape the attention of the District Auditor.
“CHAIN’s baffling ‘second class citizens’ remark conveniently overlooks the fact that this authority and its partners are spending many millions of pounds on the regeneration of Northwich, amid one of the worst financial climates experienced by this country in half a century.
“Yet, however aggrieved we may feel, Council reaction will be futile if dictated only by emotion and not founded on expert legal and strategic planning guidance.”