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Stop the Incinerator campaign scores early victory over Sutton Council ahead of judicial review

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CAMPAIGNERS hoping to extinguish plans for an incinerator on the borders of Croydon and Sutton have scored an early victory ahead of October's high court battle.

The Stop the Incinerator Campaign's preparations for next month's judicial review hit a dead end over the summer when their legal team were refused complete access to the full 25-year contract.

Instead, the documents provided by Sutton Council were redacted, at odds with the duty of disclosure both sides agreed to ahead of the hearing.

It took Deighton Pierce Glynn, solicitors representing the campaigners, to successfully apply for a High Court order to finally obtain the unedited files.

Shasha Khan, the campaigner heading the legal challenge, said: "Arguably, the contract is integrally linked to the granting of planning permission for the incinerator.

"Indeed Mr Justice Collins, when granting permission for the judicial review, observed that the possible conflict of interest for Sutton Council, both the planning authority and waste partner, 'is all too obvious'.

"When making this observation he was of course referring to the fact that the contract had been signed before planning permission had been granted."

Four councils - Croydon, Sutton, Kingston and Merton - have signed a contract with waste firm Viridor to build and operate an incinerator in Beddington Lane.

If built, the plant - dubbed an 'energy recovery facility' will burn around 275,000 tonnes of rubbish each year to create energy.

Campaigners claim the incinerator poses serious health risks and argue Sutton Council did not follow proper policies when approving the plan.

In June they were granted permission for a judicial review of the decision by a judge who agreed the case was "arguable" and that there could have been a conflict of interests between Sutton and Viridor.

The case is due to be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice on October 8 and 9.

When the Advertiser approached Sutton Council about the redacted contract the authority issued the same response as it had when the review was granted - it welcomes the judicial review because it believes planning regulations were followed.

Mr Khan continues to raise money for the legal costs of the judicial review, which could run up to £35,000.

A fundraising lunch will take place at The Alchemist Restaurant, in Croydon, on September 28.

Entry costs £10 and more details can be found at www.stoptheincinerator.co.uk.

Stop the Incinerator campaign scores early victory over Sutton Council ahead of judicial review


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