Councillors on Plymouth City Council have voted to seek legal advice on whether they can break the contract on the MVV Devonport energy from waste plant.
The council wants to investigate the options available to prevent the plant being constructed in its current location adjacent to the Devonport naval base and look into alternative locations.
Plymouth City Council is now controlled by the Labour Party and it was the previous Conservative administration, in partnership with Devon and Torbay councils that awarded the contract to MVV Environment Devonport.
Council leader Tudor Evans said at the council meeting in which the vote took place: “We are not against incinerators or incineration. We are not against MVV, which has a good track record.
“Our concern is about siting a massive waste plant immediately adjacent to a housing estate.
“The decision was made by the previous administration. None of them would have made such a decision to site such a plant in their own ward. Reversing a decision of this scale would be difficult and may be impossible, but we owe it to the people involved.”
Councillor Ted Fry, who was the Conservative cabinet member responsible for planning and development in the previous administration, said: “We are talking about an industrial site, and judges and the courts have given the green light. Now is the time to proceed without delay.
“We can’t afford the luxury of wasting taxpayers’ money and going back over a decision which was properly made.”