On Thursday of last week, Derby City Council’s Planning Control Committee granted planning permission for the experimental testing, of a new pyrothermic technology, for a 12 month period in a (incinerator) plant on Alfreton Road. The company applying for permission was Envirofusion Ltd.
Apart from the concern about the toxicity of the emissions, there was disquiet about the height of the chimney stack. The condition was highlighted that after the period of testing, the stack would be taken down.
A question was raised by Cllr Care about what would happen if the company went bust in the meantime… “Who would pay for the costs of removal?”
A review of Envirofusion’s latest accounts shows that the company is in a poor state of affairs.
The most recent set of accounts were for the year to 31 December 2016, highlighted:
- Loss for the Year £1.3m Accumulated losses £5.2m
- Cash at bank – just £1.5k
- The company was propped up by a loan from the major shareholder, and director, Peter Mullen of £4.6m. This had increased by £0.8m over the year.
- Net negative funds £4.4m
If the company went bust tomorrow – Mr Mullen would lose the bulk of this money as the company has few tangible assets.
Given this situation, the company’s auditors concluded that there was:
“…an indication of a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern. The financial statements do not include the adjustments that would result if the company was unable to continue as a going concern”
Perhaps Cllr Care’s concern had some validity and, if the company did go bust, during the period of testing then there will be no money to fund the corrective works and fulfil the application’s conditions. This has to be considered a high risk. Where this is picked up in the Council’s procedures and who is accountable for delivering this condition and restoring the landscape, should Envirofusion go bust, is not clear.
Categories: Derby City Council