ECC News Release: Further High Court Ruling on Essex Waste Facility

Further High Court Ruling on Essex Waste Facility

A further judgment has today been handed down in the High Court by Mr Justice Pepperall in relation to the Tovi Eco Park waste disposal facility in Basildon.

The initial judgment was handed down in the High Court on 18 June 2020, when the judge first ruled overwhelmingly in favour of Essex County Council.

He concluded that the ongoing performance issues with the facility are because of UBB’s ‘fundamental design error’.

Following the initial judgment, the remaining matters still to be considered included the basis on which the Council could recover its legal costs from UBB, as the losing party, and the rate of interest to be awarded on the costs and damages owed to the Authority.

UBB also requested permission to appeal certain points of the judgment.

These matters were considered during a court hearing on 13 and 14 July 2020 when the judge reserved judgment to a later date. He today issued his decision, finding in favour of Essex County Council and refusing UBB’s request for permission to appeal.

Cllr Simon Walsh, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change Action said: “We are delighted that once again the judge has made orders favourable to Essex County Council in this case.

“The judge ordered that UBB should pay the highest possible level of the Council’s recoverable costs and interest on the costs and damages it owes the Authority.

“This is an excellent outcome for the Council and the taxpayers of Essex and further justifies our decision to commence legal proceedings.

“We would like to reassure residents that they will see no difference in how their bins are collected as a result of this latest judgment.”

The operator of the facility stopped accepting deliveries of waste to the facility on 29 June 2020 – no further waste has been delivered to the facility since then.

Essex County Council’s contract with UBB remains in place and the facility continues to process the remaining waste already within it.

At the end of July, Essex County Council was informed that UBB had entered into administrative receivership.

Essex County Council is engaging with the administrative receivers in relation to their plans for the facility and the recovery of the costs and damages owed to it.

While next steps are being considered, household waste will continue to be collected across the county and disposed of appropriately.