Wakefield’s £750m waste PFI plan is delayed

New South Kirkby site as part of the waste PFI artists impression
New South Kirkby site as part of the waste PFI artists impression

A £750MILLION transformation of household waste services has been delayed.

Wakefield Council is looking to move waste management services onto a consortium of private companies which includes Shanks Group and Babcock Southern Holdings.

As part of a private finance initiative (PFI) deal, the consortium will build a new, larger waste site at Denby Dale Road, and two others at Glasshoughton and South Kirkby.

The council had previously aimed to have the facilities open by September 2014.

But the contract has still not been signed, and the council said this week it would take two-and-a-half years for the new sites to be built.

A planning application has now been submitted to allow Ossett’s tip on Owl Lane to remain open until April 2015 to compensate for the delays.

The Ossett site, which will be “phased out” with the rest of the district’s tips when the new sites are ready, currently only has planning permission until April next year.

Andrew Balchin, corporate director for communities, said a temporary waste site would open on Calder Vale Road while the site at Denby Dale Road is developed.

He said: “The final stages of the negotiation process are continuing well and are expected to be completed before the end of the December, leading to a contract start date early in the New Year.

“During the first two and a half years, Shanks will build new waste facilities at South Kirkby, Denby Dale Road and Glasshoughton.

“Following the completion of the three new facilities, the existing household waste sites at Ossett, Castleford, Ferrybridge, Fitzwilliam and South Kirkby will be phased out and the public will be able to use the new centres.”

The PFI deal almost collapsed in November 2010 after Babcock hinted that it would pull out.

But after months of frantic crunch talks, the deal was back on.

The council was then hoping to have started the contract in March this year, but it was hit with further delays.