A DECISION to shelve plans for a new recycling centre in Chipping Norton has met with a stinging rebuke from the town council.

West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) had planned to convert the depot at Greystones into a recycling facility, following the closure of Dean Pit in September 2011.

The £190,000 project had been ongoing for almost two years due to delays over negotiations for a strip of land belonging to the town council, which WODC needed to widen for access.

After months of wrangling, the district council could not agree to the town council’s request for £5,000 per year in rent and at a meeting last week, cabinet members decided they were unable to proceed.

The council also said a fall in the value of recycling materials has meant the site would now make a loss of nearly £43,000 rather than the £742 profit it first predicted.

Chipping Norton mayor Mike Tysoe said: “They got the figures wrong from the beginning and they’ve wasted a year-and-a-half of our time.

“If it doesn’t happen it’s not because of the greed of Chipping Norton Town Council, it’s because of the inefficiency of West Oxfordshire.”

District councillor Annie Roy-Barker, who is also a town councillor, said the Conservative-led WODC’s handling of Greystones was the final straw and she has resigned from the party to become an Independent.

“I just couldn’t see how I could successfully work with my ex-colleagues on district after their gross, unnecessary discourtesy towards Chipping Norton Town Council and me personally at previous meetings,” she said.

“I was absolutely appalled by some of the things that were said. I am still firmly behind the Tory party nationally.”

Councillor Simon Hoare, WODC cabinet member for resources, said they were “deeply disappointed”.

“We are a small district council and the cabinet has decided that we could not and should not expose council tax payers to exposure to market variations and undue risk. It’s a disappointing position to be in but I believe the right one at the current time.”