At the beginning of the year the government took the decision to approve a second mass waste incinerator at Belvedere, a decision which had the potential to damage human health, air quality and biodiversity across Rainham, South Hornchurchand the Bexley area.
Jon Cruddas MP who had fought against the plans since 2018 teamed up with neighbouring Erith and Thamesmead MP Abena Oppong-Asare in April to call for a judicial review of the decision. A legal challenge was the only route left available following examination by the Planning Inspectorate and subsequent deliberation by the Secretary of State.
This week The Mayor of London has confirmed that “On the 27th of June the High Court granted me permission to bring a judicial review at a Substantive Hearing, which will be held in October.”
Jon Cruddas said: “How the Tories thought they could get away with this I do not know, pushing through plans which will seriously reduce air quality for thousands of people at a time when we are facing a respiratory crisis beggars belief. This latest news is a real win for local people who have fought with me since the beginning, but the fight isn’t over yet.”
Abena Oppong-Asare added: “The high levels of air pollution across London should be considered a public health emergency. Our efforts should be on tackling existing environmental issues not adding to them with the development of a second incinerator. I’m pleased this judicial review has been granted, it is a testimony to the efforts of my constituents who have campaigned against its development for years.”
Due to the impacts of Covid-19, this year has seen a shift in attitudes with emphasis being put on improving sustainability, air quality and the environment in general to better protect the nation against the possibility of future pandemics.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London said: “Building another waste incinerator will worsen London’s already toxic air quality and will have detrimental impacts on local biodiversity. I believe that additional incineration in London will also hinder boroughs from boosting recycling performance in order to reach my 65 per cent recycling target by 2030.”