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Millions spent on scrapped waste disposal plan
More than £20million was spent on ditched plans for two privately-run waste disposal centres to serve seven councils in London, including Waltham Forest.
The North London Waste Authority (NWLA) scrapped the £3.5bn plan in favour of using existing facilities, which it claims will save £900m over thirty years.
The NWLA handles waste disposal for Waltham Forest, Camden, Enfield, Barnet, Haringey, Hackney and Islington, and is chaired by Waltham Forest deputy council leader, Clyde Loakes.
A total of £20million was spent on the procurement process by the seven authorities, which also purchased a site in Pinkham Way, Edmonton, for £12million which will not be used.
The NWLA said the decision was prompted by changes to planning policy, but came under fire from Green Party London assembly member, Jenny Jones, who described the exercise as a "terrible waste" of taxpayers’ money.
Cllr Loakes denied NLWA had performed a “u-turn” after a firm which had bid for the project, FCC Skanska, said it had been led to believe that the project was affordable and deliverable.
Cllr Loakes said: “These are tough times and we have to do everything we can to protect services. That means ensuring every decision we make offers real value for money.
“Fundamental changes to local planning policy were confirmed this summer and in the light of those changes we asked for more work to be done on a range of matters – part of this work confirmed that with some additional capital expenditure our current facility at Edmonton can run up to at least 2025.”
“Two key planning policy documents (note 1) were adopted in May and July of this year which fundamentally changed the Authority’s ability to secure planning permission for a long-term energy recovery facility for north London’s non-recyclable waste at the Edmonton EcoPark site.
“It’s simply the case that the Authority has stepped back and reassessed its options to find a less expensive solution to its waste management in these difficult times for council finances.”
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