The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has blamed the prospect of having to incur substantial costs at a full hearing for his decision to withdraw his judicial review claim over a proposed incinerator in Bexley.
Waste firm Cory won planning permission for the Belvedere incinerator in South East London in April, which would be able to handle 805,000 tonnes a year of residual waste, producing up to 96 megawatts of electricity.
The Mayor was last month granted permission for the High Court legal challenge over the project.
Mr Khan’s case was 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.
However, he has now decided to withdraw the claim, despite maintaining that the Government had made the wrong decision.
Explaining the decision to withdraw, a spokesperson for Mr Khan said: “The Mayor has been clear that London is facing a climate emergency and does not need more energy from waste incinerators. He has repeatedly called on Government to reject plans for the new proposed incinerator in Bexley.
“Following the Secretary of State’s decision to make the development consent order, the Mayor was granted permission from the High Court to bring a judicial review of this decision. However after further legal advice the Mayor has taken the difficult decision to withdraw his claim, mindful of the substantial costs of proceeding to a full hearing. None of this detracts from his continued opposition to the Bexley incinerator.”
Welcoming the Mayor’s decision to withdraw the judicial review claim, Cory said: “Everyone in London wants a clean city and done responsibly energy-from-waste provides a modern, clean and efficient solution to waste management.
“The proposed Riverside Energy Park delivers such a solution, diverting waste from landfill that cannot be reused or recycled whilst converting it into secure and reliable supplies of low carbon energy as part of the UK’s transition into a low carbon economy.
“We will now be making necessary preparation to start construction of the project and we look forward to working with City Hall.”