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View from the House: A massive boost in our incinerator fight

PUBLISHED: 08:00 26 September 2020

Labour MP Jon Cruddas.

Labour MP Jon Cruddas.

Archant

The fight I began in 2018 to protect air quality for the residents of Rainham and South Hornchurch recently received a massive boost.

The planning consent that the Tory government gave to build a second waste incinerator on the banks of the Thames in Belvedere just opposite Rainham is to be subjected to a judicial review.

This really gives hope that the decision made by the government’s secretary of state can be reversed.

I give great thanks to the mayor of London for backing the campaign and pressing the High Court to grant permission to bring the judicial review. The hearing on the review will take place in October.

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This week I have written to every household in Rainham to update them on the situation. My arguments from the outset were that the adverse impacts from this incinerator will be felt across Rainham and South Hornchurch as well as worsening London’s already toxic air quality.

Burning solid waste gives off harmful emissions and every report has stated that Rainham would be hit hardest by this development.

How the government could think that giving permission for this is a good idea beggars belief. Incinerating rubbish puts back raising recycling levels and has a negative effect on achieving climate change targets. The Greater London Authority has made clear that burning solid waste is harmful to human health and biodiversity.

Instead of burning rubbish, as a society we should be putting our efforts into cutting waste and raising recycling.

So, it’s good news for now but this is certainly not over. The fight must go on.

Our local environment has taken many hits in recent years and I will do all I can to prevent the government getting away with this attack on our air quality.


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