Sadiq Khan drops judicial review into controversial incinerator across river from Rainham
PUBLISHED: 12:07 01 October 2020 | UPDATED: 12:07 01 October 2020
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has made the “difficult decision” to abandon a legal challenge against controversial plans for a new waste-burning incinerator across the River Thames from Rainham.
Mr Khan’s office confirmed on Wednesday that the judicial review, which had been due to start in October, would no longer go ahead.
Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas said: “After raising our hopes following a two-year battle I was incredibly disappointed to learn that the judicial review had been dropped due to high costs for the taxpayer.
“To my mind you cannot place a price on the future health of Rainham residents and air quality across the south of my constituency.” Mr Khan withdrew the challenge after receiving legal advice surrounding the likely high cost of the action. It’s understood he was also advised the likelihood of winning the case was low.
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It means Cory Riverside Energy, which already operates one waste-burning incinerator at the riverside Belvedere site in Bexley, will now be free to build the second facility.
The mayor has maintained a long-running opposition to the scheme, alongside Mr Cruddas, Erith and Thamesmead MP Abena Oppong-Asare, councillors and community groups who harbour concerns over what the second incinerator would mean for air quality in the area.
A spokesman for Mr Khan said: “After further legal advice the mayor has taken the difficult decision to withdraw his claim, mindful of the substantial costs of proceeding to a full hearing. None of this detracts from his continued opposition to the Bexley incinerator.”
The secretary of state rubber-stamped Cory’s application for the second incinerator following a government inquiry in 2019.
A spokesperson for Cory welcomed the decision to withdraw the claim, saying: “Everyone in London wants a clean city and done responsibly energy-from-waste provides a modern, clean and efficient solution to waste management.
“The proposed Riverside Energy Park delivers such a solution, diverting waste from landfill that cannot be reused or recycled whilst converting it into secure and reliable supplies of low carbon energy as part of the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy.”
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