THE controversial incinerator on the Croydon – Sutton border should be approved, planning officers have said. A report to be submitted to Sutton Council's planning committee on April 24 recommends councillors grant planning permission to the proposed 'energy from waste' facility in Beddington Lane. It says measures have been taken to offset detrimental impacts, and there are insufficient traffic or air pollution grounds on which to refuse the Viridor scheme. Councillors do not have to abide by their officers' recommendations, but could be liable for appeal costs if they are shown to have acted unreasonably. If the plans are approved on April 24, they could then be called in for review by the Mayor of London or the secretary of state. Viridor also needs a permit for the facility from the Environment Agency. The facility is designed to burn 275,000 tonnes of waste each year for Croydon, Sutton, Kingston and Merton. Founder of the Stop The Incinerator campaign Shasha Khan urged councillors to throw out the plan. He told the Advertiser: "There are of course a number of planning grounds for the officers not to recommend the application, including its 95 metre twin chimney eyesore, the proposed site is designated a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation, and the location is an Air Quality Management Area. "This application is the most profitable, least sustainable, lung poisoning application that Viridor can get passed planners today. There are other much better solutions such as anaerobic digestion and mechanical and biological treatment which other councils across the country are opting for. "Council officers have bowed to the pressure exerted by multinational waste contractors and this is what has happened here. We are still hopeful that councillors on the development committee will reject the recommendations." See Friday's Advertiser for the latest on the plan.
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