This week the Mayor of London conveyed to MPs Jon Cruddas and Abena-Oppong-Asare that plans for a judicial review into the government’s controversial rubber stamping of a second waste incinerator at Belvedere had been dropped.
On August 27th after a two-year campaign against the planned incinerator, both local MPs were given the news that the Mayor had secured a judicial review at the High Court to halt the proposals. However, the Mayor has now decided that the Cory Riverside Judicial Review will not go ahead due to legal advice that the likelihood of success is low. There were also concerns raised about the cost of the process to taxpayers.
Jon Cruddas, MP for Dagenham and Rainham 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.
The Mayor has been supportive throughout and I understand that these are challenging times with more stringent budget constraints, but ultimately this decision leaves our environment, respiratory health, and biodiversity at the mercy of a Tory approved waste incinerator.
The fight does not end here. I will be contacting a number of national environmental organisations and seeking further legal advice in the coming weeks.”
Abena Oppong-Asare, MP for Erith and Thamesmead added: “It is extremely disappointing that the Mayor has decided not to pursue this judicial review. My views on the Belvedere Incinerator remain unchanged – this incinerator will have harmful impacts on my constituents’ health, on the environment and on the rare wildlife habitats surrounding it.
Sadiq Khan has been supportive of our calls to oppose the incinerator and I’m aware this has not been an easy decision for him to make. In the midst of a pandemic the Mayor has had to weigh up the cost to taxpayers and the likelihood that we would be successful in a judicial review.
When faced with a situation that you know is wrong, I believe it is better to fight and lose than to not fight at all which is why I am pursuing different routes to securing a judicial review alongside Jon Cruddas MP. I hope that we are able to fundraise to be able to go ahead with this review and I thank local residents who continue to fight the construction of this incinerator alongside me.”
The two local MPs plan to write a joint letter to national environmental groups urging them to collectively fund a judicial review.