The waste company at the centre of a row over a multi-million pound disposal plan has been accused of "obfuscation and half truths", a court heard.

Essex County Council (ECC) is aiming to quit an £800m waste deal with Urbaser Balfour Beatty (UBB) over the Tovi Eco Park Facility in Basildon.

The treatment process was fatally flawed through design faults UBB should have envisaged, the court was told.

But UBB claimed the wrong type of waste was being sent to the plant.

The opening day of a trial at the Construction and Technology Court in London heard three biohalls at the park on Courtauld Road were at the centre of the row.

The court was told they were calculated to be about 50 per cent undersized, which the council said meant the facility could not meet the level of performance first planned for it.

It was supposed to treat up to 420,000 tonnes of waste from Essex and Southend to ensure the amount sent to landfill was kept to a minimum, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

But the court heard because of the difficulties, more than 100,000 tonnes was being sent to landfill each year.

Marcus Taverner QC, representing ECC, said UBB embarked on a "shameless strategy" after realising the facility could only handle a fraction of the amount of waste it had initially been designed for.

ECC argues that since early 2016 UBB has not carried out contractually and compliant commission composition tests and the waste has been in band A.

The court heard that UBB denies that and asserts that since late 2015 it has been in band B.

The case is scheduled to last for three weeks.