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Sita UK claim against GMWDA thrown out of court

The High Court has thrown out Sita UK’s claim for “unlimited” sums from Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority after it missed out on securing work on Europe’s largest waste contract.

Recycling and waste management firm Sita launched legal action against GMWDA last September after failing to secure the contract for the £3.8 billion Greater Manchester Waste PFI.

But today the High Court struck out the proceedings.

According to the writ, Sita had been demanding damages for the “failure to award the contract to the claimant”, alleging it acted in breach of the EU obligations of equal treatment and transparency.

Mr Justice Mann who handed down the ruling today said: “I therefore conclude that Sita’s claim has been brought out of time and there is no good reason to exercise any discretion to extend it… The appropriate course is therefore to strike out these proceedings.”

GMWDA clerk, Charlie Parker,said: “It is good news for the authority. We had a duty to robustly defend any proceedings in order to protect the public purse and recover the costs incurred.

“The judgement is lengthy and we want to take the time to consider it carefully and in detail. However, I am glad we can now concentrate on delivering our world class recycling and waste management vision.”

GMWDA signed the 25 year Recycling and Waste Management Contract with Viridor Laing (Greater Manchester) on the 8 April 2009.

The contract is a £631 million construction programme, creating a network of recycling facilities over the next five years. The construction contract has been awarded to Costain.

The contract is worth £3.8 billion to VLGM over its term.

Sita UK had alleged that the PFI contract let to Viridor/Laing was 15 per cent more expensive than SITA UK’s bid in 2007 and 25 per cent more expensive than their original submission.

A Sita UK legal spokesperson said before the legal action was launched: “In our view SITA UK, as reserve bidder, should have been invited to submit a revised bid, which could have been fully assessed against the VL bid.

“We have sought reassurance from GMWDA that our bid was treated fairly, however the responses to requests for information have simply reinforced our concerns.”