CASH-strapped Solihull Council has spent £403,000 on a waste-disposal project that could soon be scrapped.
Plans to build a new, £1 billion incinerator were thrown into doubt last month, when it was announced a public consultation had been postponed.
But now it has emerged that the joint-project, between Solihull, Coventry, and Warwickshire, has already cost somewhere in the region of £1.73 million.
Solihull has ploughed over £400,000 into the planning stage, though this is less than the other two councils – who have forked out £645,000 and £690,000 respectively.
Long-term opponents of the scheme are now calling for the plan to be dropped.
Solihull MP Lorely Burt told the Solihull News this week she felt the project was ‘counter-productive.’
“I don’t see the need for another incinerator when we’re driving to increase recycling,” she said. “The last thing we need is a giant leviathan that needs to be constantly fed rubbish.”“It’s not my decision whether we go-ahead with this scheme, but perhaps the three councils need to get together, and come to some agreement.”
Project Transform has been controversial from the get-go, with many environmental groups and councillors voicing concerns.
The cash spent so far has gone on legal advice, consultancy, staff, and other resources.
This week, a spokesman for Project Transform said it was “essential” that the councils came to the right decision
“Due to a change in political leadership in Coventry, and Solihull, following the recent elections, the incoming ruling groups understandably want to take some time to consider carefully the project, and the alternatives, and to come to a view about what is in the best interests of the sub-region.
“The work of the project team to date has been invaluable in identifying the alternatives, and bringing this issue to a decision point.”