Cheshire waste plant in doubt after funding pulled

The department for environment, food and rural affairs has withdrawn PFI credits of £100m for a new energy-from-waste facility in Cheshire.

Cheshire West & Chester and Cheshire East Councils were down to the final two bidders for the £850m joint contract: Resource Recovery Solutions, a joint venture between Interserve and United utilities, and Viridor.

However, last week Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Lord Henley said Defra had decided to withdraw its provisional allocation of PFI credit.

Cllr Mike Jones, leader of Cheshire West & Chester, said: "I am extremely concerned by this development because after a five-year process, we were so very close to a solution to our household waste disposal problems over the next quarter of a century.

"During the next few days we will be talking to Government, our colleagues in the East and our advisors, in an attempt to clarify the situation and find a solution."

Cllr Wesley Fitzgerald, leader of Cheshire East Council, added: "We are disappointed by Defra's decision as an awful lot of time and work has gone into this joint project.

"We had great faith in this scheme, and had already achieved a lot. However, we will be making every effort to talk with key stakeholders to find alternative ways of reducing landfill."

Community and environment executive member, Cllr Lynn Riley, said: "Potentially we have some very important and difficult decisions to make after considering all the options and alternatives open to us.

"However, at this moment in time, only one thing is absolutely certain. Landfill availability in Cheshire is shrinking fast and we still have to find a way of disposing of at least 180,000 tonnes of household waste each year."

Your Comments

Brian Cartwright, Chairman of the Cheshire Anti-Incinerator Network (CHAIN) has issued the following statement: "CHAIN notes that DEFRA has stated that the reason for its decision is that the project is one of a number which, to use its own words, ‘will no longer be needed to meet 2020 landfill targets set by the EU’. It is difficult to argue with that logic as far as Cheshire is concerned. We have been saying for at least two years that, with waste treatment facilities already approved for Frodsham, Runcorn and the Bedminster advanced greener technology plant at Lostock, the county has at least eight times the capacity that it actually needs. Surely a solution to treating the municipal waste problem can be found without building any more. Cheshire has already taken on more than its fair share."


he would say that, wouldn’t he.

By Dusty Bin

Yes, he would – and he’s not wrong, is he?

By Anna Lee

i think we need more of them on the wirral.

By Ted Rogers

As plans for an "eco-Park" and a 600,000 tonne capacity incinerator at Ince Marshes near Frodsham, and an 850,000 tonne incinerator for Ineos Chlor at Runcorn have already been given the go-ahead, why would Cheshire need more burning capacity? There are more than ample facilities within the county to treat 180,000 tonnes of household waste. Waste hierarchy encourages recycling and re-use before energy recovery, and this concept should be to the fore, when considering the disposal of waste in the future.

By Sue Statham

Couldn’t agree more with Brian and Sue’s comments. Why should Cheshire be sold as the dumping ground for England?

By sheila regan

Here is an alternate view:- won’t these plants (if built of course) create large amounts of employment. I am sure there is an environmental consideration here; but having analysed the spending review the North West really is going to have to develop some significant employment opportunities. I assume Brian Cartright is retired, which allows him time to devote to his NIMBY forum?

By Different view

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