A new legal challenge has been launched against the development of a waste plant in Derby – the third court challenge the scheme has been subjected to.
The Derby Telegraph reports that the facility – earmarked for Sinfin – has been met with fierce opposition by local residents and campaign groups, who fear the emissions from the plant would be detrimental to health.
More than £20 million of taxpayers' money has been spent trying to address the fallout from the proposal and the figure could rise further if the latest challenge is successful.
Dorothy Skrytek, from Friends of the Earth, is the latest person to take the issue to court and she is being supported by the Sinfin and Spondon Against Incineration (SSAIN) campaign group.
RSS, the firm behind the scheme, signed a contract with Derbyshire County Council and Derby City Council to build the mechanical biological treatment and gasification complex and have it operational by July 2012.
However, the completion date has been delayed until January 2017 owing to the three court appeals, two public enquiries and one planning committee meeting that have been held to resolve the standoff, the newspaper reported.
The local council claims that the new facility would deliver significant cost savings, with £370,000 per month saved by using the plant as opposed to sending waste to landfill.
"Based on an analysis undertaken by the councils in March 2012, it was assessed that the cost of implementing the project provides a total nominal financial benefit of about £111 million (at current prices) over its 25-year life compared with the continuation of the current practice of landfilling waste," the council said in a statement.
Simon Bacon, chairman of the SSAIN, told the newspaper that the authorities are ignoring more attractive solutions to the issue of waste management.
"The councils should be looking at the most sustainable form of waste management, which is recycling and boosting their recycling levels towards 70 per cent as other parts of the UK are doing," he added.
Ian Goodfellow, managing director of Shanks UK, which owns RSS, said at the announcement of the deal that the company's vision is the most cost-effective way of handling residual waste.