13 February 2009

High Court set to block plans for Surrey EfW

The High Court looks set to quash planning permission for a much-delayed energy-from-waste facility in Surrey following a successful challenge by the local parish council.

An artist's impression of what the proposed Capel site would look like

An artist’s impression of what the proposed Capel site would look like

The plant received planning permission by the county council in October 2008 (see letsrecycle.com story) and was set to form a part of the Surrey Waste Plan to tackle 3.3 million tonnes of annual waste.

However, Mr Justice Collins claimed at a hearing in January that the planning application for the 110,000 tonnes capacity energy-from-waste facility at Clockhouse Brickworks near Dorking would be blocked following a challenge to the Surrey Waste Plan made by Capel parish council.

Although an official judgement is not expected until later this month, the decision comes as the latest set-back in a long line of challenges to the project from the Capel Action Group, which also managed to get planning permission for the facility overturned following a judicial review in 2002 (see letsrecycle.com story).

Responding to the decision, a spokesman for Surrey county council said: “Mr Justice Collins has found in favour of the Parish Council on at least one of the grounds of the challenge, and will quash the planning permission for the Energy from Waste plant at Capel. The county council has nothing further to add until it has considered Mr Justice Collins' judgement.”


The Capel plant was being developed as part of PFI-funded deal between SITA-subsidiary Surrey Waste Management and the county council and was intended to be operational in 2012.

SITA had been developing the facility in tandem with a 160,000 tonnes capacity energy-from-waste facility at Trumps Farm, north of Woking, which has also attracted a degree of local opposition.
However, as a result of the High Court decision, the company announced that it plans to review its situation.

Sean Trotter, general manager of Surrey Waste Management, said: “We will be reviewing the effect of this decision on our planning consent for an energy-from-waste (EfW) facility at Capel and our planning application for an EfW facility at Trumps Farm.”

“We are unable to comment further until Surrey County Council have fully reviewed the details of the decision and the outcome for the Surrey Waste Plan,” he added.



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