Courts Support New Belvedere Waste Plant - 3 January 2007

An attempt to prevent the building of an energy from waste facility at Belvedere in the London borough of Bexley has been firmly rejected by the courts.

Bexley Council and the Mayor of London had lodged an application to the High Court to mount a judicial review of the Secretary of State's decision to grant consent to the application to build a 72MW energy from waste plant at Belvedere, South East London.

Following consideration of the application for judicial review, Judge Andrew Gilbart QC refused permission concluding that the application was without merit. The application was made on three grounds, all of which were considered by the Judge to be unarguable given the very careful way they were dealt with by the Inspector at two public inquiries held in 2003 and 2005. The Inspector's recommendations were strongly supported by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, to whom costs were awarded.

Welcoming the ruling, Councillor Coleridge, Chairman of the Western Riverside Waste Authority said, "the Court's decision to refuse the application is an endorsement of the decision-making process. It affirms the Authority's waste strategy, which is recycling-led. The project is fully in line with national waste policy as well as maximising environmental safeguards by recovering energy, and using the Thames for transport. The Inspector rightly concluded that controlled incineration with energy recovery has a major role to play in managing London's waste, contrary to the Mayor's view. He continued, "the new Riverside energy from waste facility will make a major contribution to our self sufficiency. It will help London meet the European targets to stop landfilling waste. This means saving Londoners millions of pounds in fines which would otherwise have been levied on their Council tax bills."

Notes for editors:

Western Riverside Waste Authority is one of four statutory waste disposal authorities in London, and covers the four London boroughs of Lambeth, Wandsworth, Hammersmith & Fulham and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The proposed new facility will be London's first river-served energy-from-waste plant and will make a significant contribution to renewable energy. The plant is designed to process up to 585,000 tonnes per year of residual waste after reuse and recycling processes. There will also be an 84,000 tonnes per year complementary recycling plant in Wandsworth to recover useful materials. The majority of the waste will be delivered by river from the four London boroughs via the Western Riverside Waste Authority's 30-year contract with Cory Environmental Limited.