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  1. ITV Report

Actor Jeremy Irons in Gloucester to back campaign against waste incinerator

Jeremy Irons at the Guildhall in Gloucester. Photo: ITV News West Country

The actor Jeremy Irons visited Gloucester today to back a report by environmental campaigners opposed to a £500m waste incinerator. Environmental enterprise group Community R4C claims the incinerator at Javelin Park outside Gloucester will cost taxpayers over £35m more than alternatives and may breach competition law.

Residents nearby claim the development will be the size of Gloucester Cathedral with a 70m high chimney looming over homes. Currently more than half of residents' household waste is sent to landfill, which creates harmful greenhouse gases and in 2013/14 cost £9 million in tax.

Opponents claim the incinerator will be as big as Gloucester Cathedral Credit: ITV News West Country

Irons' appearance was dismissed by Gloucestershire County Council's deputy leader Cllr Ray Theodoulou. He said the council listened to 'experts rather than actors'. By return, Jeremy Irons apologised for being an actor but said like everyone else he wanted to breathe clean air.

Groundworks are already underway for the massive incinerator. Credit: ITV News West Country

“The energy from waste plant at Javelin Park will save taxpayers over £100m over the life of the contract. We were totally open to any solution, and this was the best for Gloucestershire.

"We invited companies from around the world to propose their solutions for disposing of waste that can’t be recycled cleanly and effectively – and this was the most economical.

"Mr Irons has a right to his views, however the council has typically preferred to listen to the advice of independent waste experts, rather than actors."

– Cllr Ray Theodoulou, deputy leader, Gloucestershire County Council

"I'm sorry I'm an actor. I'm also a person. I breathe, I live. I know the sort of country we want and it's not this"

– Jeremy Irons