INCINERATOR bosses have up to six months to decide if they want to appeal a decision to throw out their controversial plans.
Urbaser Balfour Beatty is "minded to appeal" Gloucestershire County Council's planning committee's decision, to refuse their £500million energy-from-waste plant at Javelin Park, Haresfield.
After a tense 11-hour meeting on Thursday, the committee unanimously rejected the application for the burner which the council had invited tenders for.
The council's waste champion Stan Waddington attacked colleagues who turned down the plan. He said: "In its refusal, the committee did not challenge the need for the facility, which will save us £190m."
Council bosses signed a contract with UBB months before the decision was made. However, Mr Waddington denied breaking the contract would cost taxpayers up to £15m, saying there is no financial penalty for rejecting the plans.
Lead campaigner Sue Oppenheimer, from anti-incinerator group Glosvain, said they had "won the battle, but not the war".
Now, an appeal is unlikely before mid-May as planning lawyers are still considering their options before giving advice. If an appeal goes ahead, it will be up to a Government planning inspector to make a ruling. But even if the inspector throws out the plan, Urbaser Balfour Beatty could then appeal within six weeks to the High Court, which has the final say.
A spokeswoman for Urbaser Balfour Beatty said: "We feel that the UBB application was a strong one, sitting well within planning law and local policies that clearly identify a need for residual waste treatment in the county.
"Our priority now is to establish a clear way forward to support the county council in delivering an alternative to landfill."