High Court grants permission for judicial review of South London incinerator plans
A High Court judge has granted permission for a judicial review of plans to build a waste incinerator in Beddington.
Mr Justice Collins today ruled Green Party campaigner Shasha Khan could proceed with a legal challenge to Sutton Council's decision to give planning permission for the plant, which would burn 275,000 tonnes of rubbish a year.
Mr Khan, of Croydon, will argue Sutton Council was influenced by its contract with waste disposal firm Viridor, developers of the incinerator, and applied incorrect planning policy.
Sutton, Merton, Kingston and Croydon councils jointly agreed a contract in 2012 with Viridor to build the incinerator, which would burn wasted from the four boroughs to create energy and heat for nearby homes.
Campaigners have protested against the plans amid fears they will cause harmful pollution both from the plant's chimney and traffic to the plant, but the Environment Agency has said emission levels would be safe.
Mr Khan after submitting the judicial review application at the Royal Courts of Justice
Mr Justice Collins granted permission for a judicial review on the grounds of a possible conflict of interest in Sutton Council considering the planning application when it had signed the contract with Viridor.
Councillors granted planning permission for the plant last year.
The judicial review is expected to be heard in court in October.
Mr Khan, who is liable for costs of £35,000 if the bid fails, said: "In World Cup speak, a tricky qualification has been achieved and now we all look forward to the finals.
"I am so grateful for the hundreds of small donations to finance this case from members of the public like me who want parks for their kids, not waste incinerators."
His legal team includes Sue Willman and Charlie Dobson, of London legal firm Deighton Pierce Glynn, and barrister Justine Thornton, Ed Miliband's wife.
Ms Willman said: "Despite powerful opposition by council and developers, a senior planning court judge has recognised the strength of the case not to grant planning permission to burn waste on a site which is a haven for wildlife and migrating birds."
A spokesoman for Sutton Council said: "The judicial review will look at whether the planning process for the energy recovery facility has been followed correctly.
"We believe it has and that our decision is sound. We welcome the court’s decision to expedite the judicial review so it will be heard as soon as possible."
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