South London energy waste facility faces judicial review

Out-Law News | 18 Jun 2014 | 5:19 pm |

A High Court judge has given permission for judicial review of the London Borough of Sutton's decision to grant planning permission for the development of an energy-from-waste plant on metropolitan open land in Beddington, according to a report in Planning Magazine .

The scheme received approval in May 2013, despite concerns that it was contrary to policies in the London Plan and in the Council's Core Strategy for the protection of metropolitan open land. The Council considered that "very special circumstances", including the "urgent need to divert waste from landfill", outweighed the conflict with Government and Council policy.

Green party campaigner Shasha Khan applied to the High Court for judicial review of the decision to grant planning permission.

According to the Planning Magazine report, Khan will claim that the Council's decision was unduly influenced by its existing contractual relationship with waste management company Viridor, the proposed developers of the site.  Viridor signed a 25 year waste disposal contract with the South London Waste Partnership, which comprises the London boroughs of Croydon, Merton, Kingston and Sutton, in November 2012.

Giving permission for judicial review, High Court judge Mr Justice Collins said: "The possible conflict of interest in the defendant's roles and the contractual relationship is all too obvious", reported Planning Magazine.

"The judicial review will look at whether the planning process for the energy recovery facility has been followed correctly", said a Council spokesman, according to the report. "We believe it has and that our decision is sound."