28 August 2020 by Joshua Doherty

Mayor ‘granted judicial review’ for Cory EfW

The mayor of London Sadiq Khan says he has secured a judicial review into the Planning Inspectorate’s decision to grant permission to Cory Riverside Energy to build an energy from waste (EfW) facility in south east London. 

In a letter penned to two local MPs on 26 August he said that in June, the High Court granted him permission to bring a judicial review at a Substantive Hearing, which will be held in October.

Plans are in place for an 800,000 tonnes per year capacity EfW to be built alongside Cory’s existing 750,000 tonne plant


The Planning Inspectorate, overseen by secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy Alok Sharma, approved Cory’s plans in April for an EfW plant to be developed alongside Cory’s existing facility on the south bank of the Thames (see letsrecycle.com story). 

The following month, the mayor released a statement saying he would push for a judicial review into the decision. Mr Khan has maintained a longstanding opposition to the project, describing the decision to approve the application as “extremely disappointing” (see letsrecycle.com story). 


In a letter penned to John Cruddas and Abena Oppong-Asare, the Labour MPs for Dagenham and Rainham and Erith and Thamesmead respectively, he made clear his belief that the capital did not need any more energy recovery plants.  

This was in response to a joint letter the MPs penned in April voicing their opposition to the plant.  

He said: “I have been clear that no more waste incinerators are needed in London and have called on the government to refuse this application. I agree that building another waste incinerator will worsen London’s already toxic air quality and will have detrimental impacts on local biodiversity.

“On the 27th of June the High Court granted me permission to bring a judicial review at a Substantive Hearing, which will be held in October”

Sadiq Khan, mayor of London

“Regarding the impact of the incinerator on the residents of Rainham Town Centre and neighbouring areas in particular,this was an important omission from the Environmental Impact Assessment of the project. We raised this repeatedly throughout the Examination, but the Inspector took no action to seek more information on this point. We are taking further legal advice on this matter.

“On the 27th of June the High Court granted me permission to bring a judicial review at a Substantive Hearing, which will be held in October”.

The full letter from Mr Khan can be read hereThe joint letter from the two MPs can be seen here

Abena Oppong-Asare added: “The high levels of air pollution across London should be considered a public health emergency. Our efforts should be on tackling existing environmental issues not adding to them with the development of a second incinerator. I’m pleased this judicial review has been granted, it is a testimony to the efforts of my constituents who have campaigned against its development for years.” 


As part of the plans, an 800,000 tonnes per year capacity EfW will be built alongside Cory’s existing 750,000 tonne plant.   

Alongside the EfW plant, an anaerobic digestion facility with an annual waste throughput of up to 40,000 tonnes per annum of green and food waste is also to be constructed, “enabling infrastructure for combined heat and power”.   


The mayor has been a vocal critic of the plant (picture: Shutterstock)

When the mayor announced he was planning to appeal the decision, Cory said it was “disappointed” because there had already been an extensive examination of the application, which showed a “clear need for the plant

A spokesperson said at the time:  “Following extensive public consultation and participation by interested parties including Jon Cruddas MP and the Greater London Authority during the examination of the application, the Planning Inspectorate concluded that there is a clear need for the Riverside Energy Park and that its development and operation would not have a significant impact on air quality or the local environment more widely.   

“In subsequently approving the application for development consent, the secretary of state agreed that the Riverside Energy Park will play an important role in meeting the UK’s urgent energy needs and that the merits of the project justified its development.  

“Everyone in London wants a clean city and done responsibly energy-from-waste provides a modern, clean and efficient solution to waste management.   

“The proposed Riverside Energy Park delivers such a solution, diverting waste from landfill that cannot be reused or recycled whilst converting it into secure and reliable supplies of low carbon energy as part of the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy.”


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