LANCASHIRE County Council is forging ahead with plans for the Whinney Hill Link Road, despite the process being in legal limbo.
County hall chiefs are seeking contractors for the £13.5m access road to the new East Lancashire Waste Technology Park, in Huncoat.
The controversial waste recycling plant is currently the subject of a public inquiry and is waiting for a decision on whether the council can serve compulsory purchase orders (CPO).
The three-day planning inquiry, conducted by the North West Planning Directorate, was held at the Dunkenhalgh Hotel, and included objections from residents and local landowners.
Among the complaints was that 500 extra vehicle trips a day would be generated by the waste park situated on the site of the former power station.
Omega Atlantic, a landowner, did not oppose the CPO but it did object to the route of the access road planned.
No date has been set for a decision from the inquiry but it is likely to take several months.
John Birch, Lancashire County Council’s project manager of waste services procurement, said: "To ensure that this facility is available when required, it is not prudent to wait until the land has been acquired before undertaking certain tasks."
He added: "Therefore, the county council is currently looking for a contractor for the construction of the Whinney Hill Link Road, which would include the access to the proposed East Lancashire Waste Technology Park.
"This would allow Lancashire County Council to start work shortly after acquiring the land, should the Secretary of State be minded to confirm the making of the council’s Compulsory Purchase Orders. This would help to reduce delays and costs."
All local authorities in Lancashire signed up to the Lancashire Waste Partnership in 1997 and agreed a strategy in 2001 to reduce landfill and increase composting and recycling.
Two out of three new waste plants – operated by Global Renewables – are nearing completion in Leyland and Thornton.
The East Lancashire Waste Technology Park will receive and recycle waste from Hyndburn, Burnley and Blackburn with Darwen.
The 1km access road would connect the recycling plant with the A56 and M65 between Blackburn and Burnley.