CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans to build a £1.4bn waste incinerator are calling for a judicial review.

North Yorkshire Waste Action Group (NYWAG) said it wants a judge to examine the lawfulness of the decision to site an incinerator beside the A1(M) at Allerton Park, near Knaresborough.

The move comes two weeks after planning minister Nick Boles decided not to hold a public inquiry into the joint proposal by North Yorkshire and City of York councils, over which 10,000 opponents signed a petition.

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NYWAG said after being stunned by Mr Boles’ ruling that the plan did not conflict with national policies it was focused on working with eminent lawyers to gain permission from the High Court for a judicial review.

Attempts by campaigners to win permission for judicial reviews over other incinerator plans across the country have had mixed success, but NYWAG says it is confident of winning a judicial review if it is granted one.

Its chairman Steve Wright said: “We are now entering a crucial phase of the campaign.

“If our lawyers advise us to go to judicial review then this will be our very best chance to stop this madness.

“We know the incinerator scheme is wrong, they know it’s wrong, but they persist with this unnecessary scheme.”

County council leader Councillor John Weighell has said the scheme will be put on hold until after the outcome of the possible challenge.

The authority says the plant would prevent 90 per cent of the county's household waste from going into landfill and represent a huge investment in the area.

Developers AmeyCespa, which has a 25-year contract to treat up to 320,000 tonnes of rubbish a year, say the incinerator will use up-to-date technology and will save money, including landfill taxes, generate electricity, help meet recycling targets and could heat nearby homes.

Protestors counter that the scheme is designed to burn far more waste than North Yorkshire produces.

Mr Wright appealed to residents who are concerned about the proposals to contribute to a war chest by holding fundraising events or sending donations to NYWAG’S treasurer, at High Farm Grange, Hopperton, HG5 8NX.

He said: “If we are to win this, we need the best lawyers working for us. That costs money.”

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