Incinerator battle could cost borough council up to £125,000, report reveals
PUBLISHED: 11:42 02 April 2013 | UPDATED: 11:42 02 April 2013
UP to £125,000 of public funds could be used battling controversial Hatfield incinerator plans.
Next week bosses at Welwyn Hatfield Council will meet to decide whether to release funds for the fight against the proposed plant at New Barnfield.
The plans, backed by Herts County Council and energy firm Veolia, will be subjected to a public inquiry in September after the Government intervened.
A report prepared ahead of a cabinet meeting next Tuesday proposes making up to £100,000 cash available for the battle, and £25,000 in staff time.
It warns that failing to do so would make the hated 385,000-tonne-a-year plant more likely to go ahead, and would put the borough council’s reputation at risk.
It states: “Based on current estimates of the cost of legal representation and specialist consultancy advice in preparing evidence for the inquiry and attending the hearing itself, also taking into account provision of temporary staff cover for other priority work between April and September inclusive, the total cost should not exceed £125,000.”
If given the OK, cash would be spent on preparing a legal case against the plant.
In October last year, the incinerator was approved by County Hall despite huge opposition from across the political spectrum.
But no work can go ahead until a ruling is reached by an independent inspector.
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