Lib Dems demand review into Eco Park failings

March 31, 2021 10:46 AM
By Cllr Will Forster

The Lib Dems have called for a review into Surrey County Council's failed attempt to build an 'Eco Park' to process much of Surrey's household waste after it was revealed that the Council is in legal proceedings with the builder of the facility.

At the Full Council meeting earlier this month the Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change announced that after "exhausting other options available we have now entered legal proceedings with Suez to resolve our issues. We hope to bring this to a swift conclusion to allow us to move forward with the Eco Park and resolve the matter."

The County Council's Eco Park has been beset with problems since it was announced in 2009. The Eco Park was meant to treat waste with an anaerobic digestion plant and gasification facility. However, despite getting planning permission in 2012 it has never opened.

In a question to yesterday's Cabinet meeting, the Lib Dems asked for an external audit report into the Eco Park saga.

Lib Dem County Councillor for Woking South, Will Forster, said:

"Last year the Council removed the £42 million 'asset' that is meant to be the Eco Park from its list of assets so I am sadly not surprised by the news that the Council and Suez are in court. Once this court case is finished the Council needs to call in external and independent audits to establish why the Eco Park has gone so wrong."

"The Council was due to receive £63 million from the Government as a Waste Infrastructure Grant this funding is clearly now at risk as a result of this mess."

"The Lib Dems and I always had grave concerns about the Eco Park plans. Residents in Spelthorne have been suffering for years due to this project in terms of increased air pollution and noise, traffic congestion and from having to live in the shadow of 'Surrey's biggest eyesore' however, all Surrey's residents may now need to pay the price for the Conservative Council's failures."