“Stop the Incinerator” campaign’s judicial review, of Croydon and Sutton councils, is under threat due to a lack of funding.
After six years of campaigning, Green Party activist Shasha Khan and other campaigners were expecting to start the judicial review against the Beddington incinerator scheme tomorrow at the High Court in the Strand, but insufficient funds are threatening their chance to have a say at all.
In a press release, the campaigners are appealing to the local people to help raise the necessary funds to cover the mounting legal costs.
They said: “A pledge of £5000 has failed to materialise leaving a gap in funds in order to prepare legal bundles and actual representation at the hearing.”
In a number of fund-raising events, quiz nights and other donations, Stop the Incinerator campaigners have already raised around £8000, but the legal costs for a judicial reviews are closer to £15,000.
Campaigner Dave Pettener said: “We have worked hard over the last 6 years to stop this environmental vandalism from going ahead and it would be a disaster if the judicial review collapses the day before going to court.”
Khan admitted that there is a “considerable amount of tension” among campaigners and added: “Even if the legal challenge is stopped before Thursday, the other side’s costs, capped at £5,000, will still need to be paid, which means they win twice.“
If the judicial review does not go through, the Beddington incinerator will be built by waste management company Viridor as part of the South London waste partnership between Croydon, Sutton, Merton and Kingston and it will be able to burn up to 275,000 tonnes of waste a year.
Deighton Pierce Glynn, solicitors defending the campaigners led by Ed Miliband’s wife Justine Thornton, successfully applied at the beginning of the month to see the full incinerator’s plans in High Court.
Mentioning the possibility of a second incinerator being built in the area, the campaigners said: “If our legal challenge is stopped now due to lack of funds this will send a clear message to the waste companies that it is open season for lung poisoning incinerators on the Sutton-Croydon border.”
Pettener continued: “Don’t let big business poison our planet for profit. Hold your breath now and you will have to hold it forever.”
The campaigners have organised a peaceful demonstration prior the hearing tomorrow morning, at 9.30am outside the main entrance to the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand.