CAMPAIGNERS are taking Gloucestershire County Council to court over the 'unlawful' awarding of its waste incinerator contract.

Community R4C, a non-profit mutual society arguing there are cheaper and greener alternatives to Javelin Park, filed a lawsuit with the High Court on Friday.

The group, which boasts the support of celebrities like Jeremy Irons, is claiming the council broke the law by failing to retender its Javelin Park contract after a rise in its cost to taxpayers from £500m to £600m, as revealed by the council just before Christmas.

Stroud News and Journal:

Protestors from Extinction Rebellion blocked the gates to the incinerator earlier this month

"It was a very difficult decision to take this course of action when so much taxpayer money has already been spent on legal battles”, said Patricia Watson, the director of the group.

“The underhand behaviour of the council and contractor has led to a far higher price than anywhere else in the country for the lowest possible environmental benefit.”

Requests to see the council's contract with Ulster Balfour Beatty, the largest the county has ever entered into, were consistently refused until a tribunal forced its disclosure in 2017.

By this time a revised - and more expensive - contract had been signed.

In response, county councillor Nigel Moor, the cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “The council ran a competitive process following procurement law to select a company to deal with the county’s household waste that can’t be reduced, reused or recycled.

"The council has now received a legal claim from R4C in relation to that process and we are currently reviewing our response.”