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EU investigates financing of controversial Allerton Park incinerator
EUROPEAN watchdogs have confirmed they are investigating whether the financing of a controversial scheme for a giant waste incinerator amounts to an illegal state subsidy.
The EU’s competition commissioner is responding to allegations made by the North Yorkshire Waste Action Group, which opposes the £1.4bn scheme at Allerton Park near Knaresborough.
The Government withdrew PFI support for the scheme earlier this year, leaving major doubts hanging over the project, but NYWAG is continuing to fight the idea.
Now it has received confirmation from the competition commissioner’s office that it is asking the UK authorities to explain why they do not consider the alleged aid to be unlawful.
NYWAG spokesman Bob Schofield said: “We think Private Finance Initiative credits, using council tax money to pay much more than the market rate to dispose of waste and to subsidise the disposal of commercial waste all contravene EU law.”
News of the move by the EU comes less than a week after campaigners learned their judicial review – aimed at having the planning approval for the incinerator quashed - had been unsuccessful.
Mr Schofield said: “The judgment was disappointing but the reality is that even if we had won, North Yorkshire County Council would have appealed the decision.
“We are actively considering the option to seek leave to appeal which, if granted, effectively means that the Court of Appeal considers there is a point of law that requires clarification. A decision will be taken next week.”
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