The High Court has agreed to allow London mayor Sadiq Khan to challenge at judicial review a plan to build an incinerator at Belvedere, in south-east London.
Mr Khan’s case is based both on the process followed in approving the project and its environmental impact on Rainham town centre on the opposite bank of the River Thames.
In a letter to two Labour MPs with nearby constituencies, Mr Khan said: “I have been clear that no more waste incinerators are needed in London and have called on the Government to refuse this application.
“I agree that building another waste incinerator will worsen London’s already toxic air quality and will have detrimental impacts on local biodiversity.”
He sad he had written to the government to say the decision to grant planning consent for the incinerator “was made in haste, fails to address the adverse environmental effects of a new incinerator particularly on climate change, and takes us off course from achieving long-term sustainable waste management”.
The mayor said the absence from the environmental impact assessment of any mention of the impact on Rainham was “an important omission…we raised this repeatedly throughout the examination, but the inspector took no action to seek more information on this point”.
Waste firm Cory won planning permission for Belvedere in April, to handle 805,000 tonnes a year of residual waste, producing up to 96 megawatts of electricity.
A Cory spokesperson said: “We are disappointed by the decision to allow the judicial review to proceed given the rigorous process carried out by the examining authority and the level of scrutiny from the secretary of state.”
“London has a clear waste infrastructure capacity gap which urgently needs investment and energy recovery facilities like the Riverside Energy Park have a key role to play in the responsible treatment and disposal of the capital's non-recyclable waste.”