Coun­cil paid mil­lions to recycling com­pany

Con­tract with Pow­er­day de­spite le­gal ac­tion

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - by Alexan­der Ballinger alexan­der.ballinger@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A WEST Dray­ton res­i­dent has crit­i­cised Hilling­don Coun­cil af­ter it emerged the au­thor­ity has paid more than £7m to a recycling com­pany it has is­sued an en­force­ment or­der against.

The coun­cil has had a con­tract with the firm Pow­er­day to run the civic amenity site in Tav­i­s­tock Road since 2010 and has paid mil­lions of pounds to the com­pany.

But Pow­er­day’s recycling site in West Dray­ton had not been given plan­ning ap­proval by the coun­cil and an en­force­ment no­tice was is­sued to stop the oper­a­tion be­ing run 24 hours a day.

A plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion made by the firm to build a new recycling cen­tre on the site was re­jected by Hilling­don Coun­cil in June.

Swan Road res­i­dent Vladimir Matveev said: “How is it pos­si­ble that the coun­cil had awarded a multi-mil­lion pound con­tract to a com­pany that had no plan­ning per­mis­sion to take the waste to the site?”

Pow­er­day has been op­er­at­ing in West Dray­ton for more than six years with­out plan­ning per­mis­sion.

“De­spite re­ceiv­ing thou­sands of com­plaints from res­i­dents, the coun­cil all this time has been pay­ing mil­lions of pounds to Pow­er­day for bring­ing their waste to West Dray­ton.”

Fig­ures re­vealed in a Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion re­quest sub­mit­ted by Mr Matveev showed the to­tal amounts be­ing paid from the coun­cil to Pow­er­day.

The cost paid from the coun­cil to the com­pany in con­tract in­creased by more than five times be­tween 2013 and 2015, reach­ing a peak of £2.5m.

In 2016 the to­tal amount paid by the coun­cil is £1.5m.

Hilling­don Coun­cil ear­lier this year threw out a con­tro­ver­sial plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion from Pow­er­day to build a new re­cov­ery and recycling build­ing, stor­age bays and as­so­ci­ated park­ing on the Tav­i­s­tock Road site.

The ap­pli­ca­tion was unan­i­mously re­fused be­cause of the devel­op­ment’s im­pact on roads and air qual­ity.

Pow­er­day has now ap­plied to the gov­ern­ment’s En­vi­ron­ment Agency for a li­cence to al­low it to carry out all the ac­tiv­ity set out in the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion.

The firm was also caught up in a ma­jor con­tro­versy ear­lier this year when it was fined £1.2m by the En­vi­ron­ment Agency for de­posit­ing and stor­ing 17,000 tonnes of waste il­le­gally in Willes­den and Ox­ford­shire.

Coun­cil­lor for the West Dray­ton ward, Jan Sweet­ing, said: “This is of course very con­cern­ing to lo­cal res­i­dents.

“Once again it would seem that Pow­er­day are ex­ert­ing all of its sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial clout to en­sure that the Coal Yard site in Yiewsley will be­come a waste site of sig­nif­i­cant size.

“We know from ex­pe­ri­ence its go­ing to cause even more prob­lems if the ex­tended li­cence is granted.”

Re­spond­ing to the news that the coun­cil had a con­tract worth mil­lions of pounds with Pow­er­day, Cllr Sweet­ing added: “It seems a funny old world that a coun­cil can be giv­ing a con­tract and at the same time look­ing to take out en­force­ment ac­tion against the com­pany.”

Mem­bers of the pub­lic can give their opin­ions on Pow­er­day’s ap­pli­ca­tion un­til Septem­ber 15 via the En­vi­ron­ment Agency by email­ing pscpub­li­cre­sponse@en­vi­ron­ment-agency.gov. uk and us­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion num­ber EPR/LB3530RA/V002.

Hilling­don Coun­cil and Pow­er­day have not re­sponded to re­quests for a com­ment at the time of go­ing to press.

n EN­FORCE­MENT OR­DER: A CGI of Pow­er­day’s pro­posed Ma­te­ri­als Recycling Fa­cil­ity (MRF) plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion that was re­fused by Hilling­don Coun­cil on De­cem­ber 10, 2013

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