Judicial review on incinerator denied by court

Proposed site for incinerator in Wisbech
The waste incinerator could be built in an industrial part of Wisbech on the Cambridgeshire-Norfolk border [MVV UK]

Fenland District Council has had an application for a judicial review into the decision to award development consent for the proposed Wisbech incinerator denied.

A High Court judge decided not to grant the council permission for a judicial review and progress to a hearing.

In May, the Environment Agency granted a permit to MVV Environment for an incinerator at Wisbech, in Cambridgeshire, close to the Norfolk border.

MVV told The BBC it was "pleased to see this outcome", while the council said it was "extremely disappointed".

In a statement, it said: "Given the judge's recognition that there were several deficiencies in the secretary of state's decision to approve the incinerator, the council was clearly justified in pursuing an application for judicial review.

"The council is now giving careful thought to the judge's reasons for the refusal and is taking further expert legal advice as to potential next steps and looking at all available options."

The BBC has applied to the courts for a copy of the decision, which has yet to be published.

The proposed energy from waste facility at Algores Way, Wisbech, was given the go ahead by the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero Claire Coutinho MP in February.

But following a unanimous vote at a meeting of Fenland's full council on 26 February the council sought expert legal advice over the possibility of seeking a judicial review.

Fenland District Council wanted to challenge the secretary of state's decision to award development consent for the proposed incinerator.

Whilst her decision could not be appealed, a judicial review would have offered a chance to challenge it.

Virginia Bucknor from Wisbech Without Incineration
Campaigner Virginia Bucknor is asking residents "not to lose heart" [BBC]

Campaigners have said it would cause pollution in a built-up area.

Virginia Bucknor, a campaigner with Wisbech Without Incineration, had said the planned site was unsuitable as it was near a food factory, homes and schools.

She said: "We are extremely disappointed. But we are asking residents not to lose heart, because we will be asking the next secretary of state for a moritorium on all incinerators until a review has been held."

MVV told the BBC: "We are pleased to see this outcome. We want to progress the project and we are working on all activities required to starting construction in 2025.

"We want to be a good neighbour as we have demonstrated at our facilities in Pymouth and Devon."

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Fenland District Council