Local campaign “Stop the Incinerator” has succeeded in raising sufficient funds to challenge Sutton council in a judicial review thanks to a last minute appeal.
The campaigners needed to raise at least £5000 in less than two days to cover the mounting legal costs of the hearing at the Royal Court of Justice taking place today and tomorrow, and some generous last minute donations have made it possible.
Shasha Khan, a local activist and founder of the campaign, said: “I am risking everything to bring this case. It is almost impossible for an ordinary family man like me to start an environmental court case against a council or developer, even where illegal or unfair decisions have been made.”
A peaceful demonstration was held this morning outside the High Court at the Strand. Protesters were wearing breathing masks and holding banners against the developer of the plans for the incinerator, Viridor.
In the judicial review, Khan is asking the judge to strike down the planning permission decision given by Sutton council to Viridor and backed by the South London Waste Partnership, including Sutton, Croydon, Merton and Kingston councils.
The main argument of the campaigners is that the new incinerator is to be built in Beddington, on a site due to become Wandle Valley Regional Park in 2023 under a local planning policy.
Sue Willman, of Deighton Pierce Glynn, solicitors defending Khan, said: “This incinerator has been allowed on a space that was protected by the Mayor of London and Sutton to become one of London’s largest and most important green spaces for nature and for people. However the local community now face decades of further waste management activity in the area.”