Cheltenham Borough Council formally opposes plans for incinerator at Javelin Park
OPPOSITION to plans for a new incinerator is growing stronger with Shire Hall bosses being described as "too arrogant to listen".
Cheltenham Borough Council has formally opposed the Javelin Park proposals, saying the rationale behind the project is deeply flawed.
Concerns were also raised by the authority about the county council's ability to be independent in making a decision on the planning application.
The borough council will now urge the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles to make the decision instead.
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Councillor Roger Whyborn, cabinet member for sustainability, said: "My real concern is that the county council has backed itself in to a corner where it is trapped by its previous decisions.
"It is not as if they were short of other people to ask the difficult questions and suggest alternatives as new technology emerged. But alas they were too arrogant to listen and re-evaluate their ideas."
Some members also brought up health concerns and financial worries about the incinerator.
But Councillor Paul McLain, deputy leader of Gloucestershire County Council, hit back and rejected their claims.
He suggested the issue was being used for political gain with county elections due to be called in May.
He said: "You can always tell when there is an election coming up.
"This is a case of the Liberal Democrats trying to put some clear yellow water between themselves and this."
Mr McLain also slapped down the suggested health concerns raised by some members.
"My goodness, this has been done to death," he said.
"The Health Protection Agency has made it crystal clear they believe an energy from waste plant is safe. They are absolutely clear."
Mr McLain also pointed to some of the benefits the incinerator would bring.
He said it would create enough electricity to power 25,000 homes and enough metal would be recovered from the burning process to build 6,000 planes over the course of the waste contract.
The borough council was following the lead of Stroud District Council, which has also formally opposed the plans.
Gloucestershire County Council has already awarded the 25-year incinerator contract to Ubaser Balfour Beatty.
The county council is likely to fork out a £15million penalty if it does not go ahead.