In April Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham and Abena Oppong-Asare MP sent a joint letter to Sadiq Khan, urging him to launch a Judicial Review into the Government’s approval of a second waste incinerator in Belvedere. On Thursday 21 May, the deadline for a legal challenge, the Mayor of London tweeted:
“London does not need more waste-burning incinerators. I have challenged the Secretary of State’s decision on the Cory Incinerator and have issued a claim to the planning court requesting a judicial review of that decision. We need to build the greener future our city deserves.”
Jon Cruddas commented: “This is excellent news and means that we are still in with a chance of overturning the decision. The Tories have a poor record on incineration and there was a concern that this decision would go through unchecked during the current crisis.”
Every report has outlined that a second incinerator would be bad for air quality, human health, and biodiversity across Rainham and South Hornchurch. On 9 April following recommendations from the Planning Inspectorate the Secretary of State approved the application. There was then a six-week period where a legal challenge could be made.
Air quality is high on the agenda at present due to Covid-19 which has serious implications for respiratory health. In response to the pandemic, the Mayor of London is currently putting a lot of investment into green infrastructure projects which promote walking and cycling, reduce car usage, and improve air quality across the capital.
Jon added: “At a time of national crisis when respiratory health is a priority it beggars’ belief that a harmful waste incinerator was approved by the Government.”