A campaigner is risking thousands of pounds by taking on the council single-handed in a bid to stop a controversial incinerator being built in Beddington.
Green Party member Shasha Khan has signed up to take on Sutton Council in a judicial review in the hope of getting the decision to grant planning permission for an energy recovery facility to be built in Beddington Lane overturned.
How the incinerator will look when viewed from nearby parkland
Mr Khan, who lives in Croydon, signed for form on his own but on behalf of campaigners backing the Stop the Incinerator campaign meaning he is liable to pay costs of up to £35,000 if the bid fails. Mr Khan said the group has already raised some funds and, if necessary, would raise the rest through events and crowd funding.
Sutton Council gave permission for waste management firm Viridor to build an incinerator, which would burn up to 302,500 tonnes of non-recyclable rubbish from Sutton, Croydon, Merton and Kingston to create electricity to go into the National Grid and heat for nearby homes, last year but campaigners fear its emissions will be harmful to people and animals living nearby.
Although the council has granted planning permission it still has to reach a legal agreement with the developer but, now that Mr Khan has signed an deal with a legal team, as soon as the plans are formalised they will be subject to the judicial review. The review will scrutinise the process by which planning permission was granted.
Mr Khan said: "I'm taking them on as an individual. It's a big challenge but it's some,thing that means a lot to me as I live downwind of it and, for the sake of my family, it has become a very important thing in my life.
"I'm excited about what's going to happen and how it will develop. There will be a financial risk but I'm going to take it stage by stage so I won;'t be exposed to too much risk at any time."
Mr Khan is working with London-based firm Deighton Pierce Glynn whose team is headed up by Ed Miliband's wife Justine Thornton.