For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
High Court ruling revitalises £1.4bn incinerator scheme
1:01pm Friday 9th August 2013 in News
A SCHEME to build a £1.4bn electricity-generating waste incinerator beside the A1(M) has received a major boost, after a High Court judge ruled it was lawfully granted planning permission.
Following a two-day judicial review hearing last month, Judge Mark Gosnell dismissed a challenge by Marton-cum-Grafton Parish Council, supported by the North Yorkshire Waste Action Group (NYWAG).
The joint project at Allerton Park, between York and Knaresborough, by waste management firm AmeyCespa, North Yorkshire County and City of York Council, had been left in doubt in February after the Government withdrew £125 million in Private Finance Initiative (PFI) funding for the scheme.
Judge Gosnell said it had not been necessary for the county council to take the possible withdrawal of PFI funds and approval for two new waste facilities in Leeds, into account when it made its planning decision.
It is understood the judgment will markedly increase the attractiveness of the scheme to investors, as some had been reluctant to bridge the funding gap while there remained uncertainty over its lawfulness.
County councillor Gareth Dadd, executive member for highways and planning services, said the authority expected to be able to present a revised business case for the project in about six months.
He said: “I am pleased that the planning process has been vindicated by the judge and that he has ruled that the planning and regulatory functions committee was right to grant planning permission for the development.
“The technologies included in the development will enable us to move away from landfilling our waste to a sustainable long-term solution which generates green electricity”.
A spokesman for NWAG, which raised £15,000 for it supporters to mount the judicial review, said while its campaign had suffered a blow, it remained determined to prevent the scheme from going ahead.
He said it now faced having to find up to £10,000 to pay the council’s court costs.
He said: “This is clearly a very disappointing outcome for all those who have supported the campaign opposing this crazy project.
“We will be reviewing the judgment with our advisers to explore whether there are further legal steps we can take. The judgment runs to some 25 pages and it will take some time to consider.”
Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones said the judge's decision was "disappointing”.
He said: "There are still many hurdles before this project comes reality - the Government withdrew PFI funding, leaving a funding gap which remains to be filled, and in the current economic climate that could be difficult."
Comments are closed on this article.