We have been waiting for a point of case law to come through in writing on the Redhill Aerodrome Development.
The important part of this other case relates to the ‘very special circumstances’ required to build on green belt land and what should be included when considering ‘any other harm’.
In theory this should be helpful to the incinerator case but we are waiting to hear back from Shasha Khan and his legal team in this regard.
They now have a week to submit further written evidence to the judge and the incinerator defence team have another week after that to respond.
Viridor are in a big hurry to get the building work under way so we’re sure they will send the judge their response pretty quickly.
This means we could only be a couple of weeks away from getting the judgement.
In other news this week the government have introduced stricter planning guidelines to ensure better protection of green belt land from incinerator development.
You can find out more about it here.
Sadly this change in planning law is most likely too late to have any influence over the South London incinerator decision.
Post written by Duncan Law, Biofuelwatch.
If you’re in or near London, please join Biofuelwatch and the new London Biomassive group for a protest outside the Green Investment Bank’s Second Birthday Celebration. We will be targeting their wilful, ongoing, not-green investment in Big Biomass and Waste Incineration.
Please meet outside the Bank of America Merrill Lynch, 2 King Edward Street, London EC1A 1HQ (near St Paul’s) at 5pm.
The Mayor of London’s Air Quality Strategy for London should go ‘further and faster’ to reduce pollution in the capital, the London Heath Commission has urged.
In the Better Health for London report published this week, Professor Darzi , chair of the London Health Commission, outlined what needed to be done to improve air quality in the capital.
The Health Commission has claimed ‘urgent’ measures need to in place to reduce air pollution.
Lord Darzi said he was ‘shocked to discover’ that 4,200 Londoners die as a direct result of air pollution every year – accounting for 7% of deaths compared to 5% in the wider UK.
Lord Darzi said: “London’s air quality is the poorest in the UK and amongst the poorest in Europe. All our lives are poorer for it.
“Acting to reduce emissions is expensive; but failing to act comes at a terrible cost in lives lost and quality of life degraded.”
You can read the full report here.
You may have only heard about this report through the headlines about banning smoking in public parks. Smoking only takes up about 5 pages of the 108 page document yet the press release is dominated by it.
Is it because Boris Johnson is trying to turn our attention away from his lack of action over air pollution?
We had another day in the Royal Courts of Justice as the Judicial Review was wrapped up. Both sides had their say and we remain confident the legal challenge is sound.
We can only hope that the judge agrees.
The judgement will take a few weeks to come through as they are waiting on a point law relating to another case.
We will of course let you know more as soon as we can. In the mean time further donations are still required to cover the legal costs.
A big thank you to everyone who made it to the Stop the Incinerator demo outside The Royal Courts of Justice today. It was great being able to show Shasha Khan our support as he took on the might of Sutton Council and Viridor.
They had about 14 people on their legal team compared to 3 (including Shasha!)
Huge thanks also goes out to everyone who has been so generous in donating over the last few days – you helped save the legal challenge from being aborted within 48 hours of getting to court.
There will be another day in court tomorrow and then about 3-4 weeks until the judge gives her decision.
And this is how it’s been reported in the news.
High Court hearing in challenge to planning permission for controversial South London incinerator starts tomorrow
The High Court will be hearing a fiercely fought two day judicial review challenge to a London council’s decision to grant planning permission for a large waste incinerator on land intended for a country park. The man behind the case is Shasha Khan, a hotel manager with a 2 year old daughter. He has fought an uphill battle to finance the case through ‘crowd funding’ getting donations from the local community and people all around the UK who believe that pollution from incinerators are damaging to health.
Mr Khan said “I am risking everything to bring this case. It is almost impossible for an ordinary family man like me to start an environmental court case against a council or developer, even where illegal or unfair decisions have been made. The country risks being blighted by waste incinerators which could be avoided by more imaginative approaches. We are only going ahead tomorrow after a last minute plea for cash”.
Mr Khan will be asking the judge to strike down the planning permission decision on the basis that Sutton made a number of serious errors in how they dealt with the application. There are four main arguments:
- Ground 1 is that the site was due to become Wandle Valley Regional Park in 2023 under a local planning policy. Instead planning permission has been granted for 25 years for a waste incinerator.
- Ground 2 is that councils can only allow building on Metropolitan Open Land – equivalent to green belt land in very special circumstances. Mr Khan argues there is no such justification here.
- Ground 3: Before the application was decided Viridor entered into a contract with Sutton, and three other London Boroughs, to handle their waste and specifically to build the incinerator at Sutton. Mr Khan’s case is that this contractual relationship with the developer influenced the planning decision.
- Ground 4 is that, Sutton should have done an environmental impact assessment on proposed pipelines being laid from the boundary of the site to neighbouring areas to transfer heat from the incinerator to local houses and businesses.
Sue Willman of Deighton Pierce Glynn said “Sutton have referred to Mr Khan as a self-confessed serial campaigner and suggested that he is taking this challenge merely because he does not approve of it himself. This is not correct. He is taking this challenge because he cares about his local environment and community and believes that Sutton made serious mistakes in how they dealt with application.
Planning decisions such as this one have a huge impact on local communities and shape the future of our public spaces for decades to come. This incinerator has been allowed on a space that was protected by the Mayor of London and Sutton to become one of London’s largest and most important green spaces for nature and for people. However the local community now face decades of further waste management activity in the area.”
Mr Khan’s legal team consists of solicitors Sue Willman and Charlie Dobson of Deighton Pierce Glynn who have instructed Justine Thornton of 39 Essex Street Chambers as counsel.
Press enquiries: Charlie Dobson, CDobson@dpglaw.co.uk 0207 407 0007
The decision to build an incinerator at Beddington has been and remains a very controversial one. The incinerator is designed to handle all of the residual municipal waste from Merton, Croydon, Sutton and Kingston up until 2040. Although currently in temporary waste management use, the site is on Metropolitan Open Land (which has the same status as greenbelt) and has been safeguarded to become the centrepiece of the Wandle Valley Regional Park in 2023. The site is also designated as a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation. Respected conservation groups such as the RSPB, the Sutton Nature Conservation Volunteers, the Beddington Farmlands Bird Group and the London Wildlife Trust have objected to the development. It has also been extremely unpopular with local residents. Sutton received 10 petitions objecting to the development with almost 2000 signatures when it consulted on the application. 2 letters were received in support.
We are 48 hours away from going to court to stop the council from building a mass burn waste incinerator in South London. Unfortunately, a pledge of £5000 has failed to materialise leaving a gap in funds in order to prepare legal bundles and actual representation at the Hearing.
Stop The Incinerator campaigner, Dave Pettener, said, “We have worked hard over the last 6 years to stop this environmental vandalism from going ahead and it would be a disaster the Judicial Review collapses the day before going to court.”
Judicial review claimant, Shasha Khan added, “Even if the legal challenge is stopped before Thursday, the other side’s costs, capped at £5,000, will still need to paid, which means they win twice.“
The Beddington Farmland’s incinerator is the thin end of the wedge. There are already plans being pushed through to build a second incinerator. If our legal challenge is stopped now due to lack of funds this will send a clear message to the waste companies that it is open season for lung poisoning incinerators on the Sutton Croydon border.
Dave Pettener continued, “Don’t let big business poison our planet for profit. Hold your breath now and you will have to hold it forever.”
Please help before it’s too late.