Incinerator revelations leave campaigners stunned

Through a Freedom of Information Act request, documents have been obtained that show that a consultant for Sutton Council had serious doubts about the proposed incinerator development. The London’s Mayor’s office also agreed with the stance of local anti-incinerator campaigners in opposing the development. It took a lot of persuasion by Viridor, the applicant, to convince Sutton Council to override the long-standing plan for the site of the development to be devoted to the Wandle Valley Regional Park from 2023.

The Assistant Director of Planning at the Greater London Authority (GLA) wrote in a pre-application advice letter that, “It has not been proven there is an overriding need for such a facility to be built”

A planning consultant working for Sutton Council wrote to the GLA in May 2012 identifying a number of points of difference with Viridor. In summarising, he stated that “the proposals are visually harmful, and detract from the potential future delivery of the Beddington Farmlands Country Park and the Wandle Valley Regional Park.” He also said, “there are other deliverable alternatives” and “the proposals are perceived to and might adversely impact on Beddington, and possibly other communities.

Judical Review claimant (1), Shasha Khan, said “I received dozens of documents a couple of weeks back through a Freedom of Information request. I had to make the request because documents were not forthcoming from the council or Viridor. Quite frankly I am stunned by these revelations. These same arguments have been put forward by campaigners all along. However, they have continuously been rebuffed by councillors, ignored in planning consultations and dismissed when submitted as objections. Yet, we find that in the past the authorities quietly agreed with what local people have been saying all along!”

  1. The trial is set for October 9th and 10th at The Royal Courts of Justice regarding the granting of the planning permission for the incinerator.

Post written by Shasha Khan