A controversial incinerator to be built by Covanta in Marston Vale has been given the go-ahead despite an appeal by local campaign group BACI (Bedfordshire Against Covanta Incinerator).
In the High Court today, Mrs Justice Lang DBE ruled in favour of the Environment Agency and has dismissed BACI’s claim to quash the operating permit.
In her judgment the Judge conceded that Covanta had made a factual and scientific error in its permit application.
The Judge also acknowledged that the Environment Agency had not made any clarification or disclaimer concerning this error – either during the consultation process or in the decision document.
She concluded however – that she finds that the Environment Agency did not adopt the error into the permit that was issued.
This news has come as a blow to BACI campaigners, who issued a press release today: “This campaign has truly been a community effort and has united residents from many different Towns and villages in and around the Marston Vale in a common cause.”
They have pledged to continue to fight Covanta’s plans which they believe will “…signal the beginning of re-industrialization of the Marston Vale and the end of regeneration of the area.”
A Covanta spokesperson said: “Covanta is pleased with the court’s decision to uphold the UK Environment Agency’s issuance of the environmental permit for the Rookery project.
“Energy-from-Waste (EfW) facilities like the Rookery South Energy Recovery Facility, are critical in helping the UK achieve national landfill diversion and renewable energy targets. EfW facilities are proven to be safe and widely regarded as the best solution for the treatment of waste that cannot be recycled.
“We are committed to being a good neighbour and look forward to building a strong, transparent relationship with the Bedfordshire community. We will provide further updates on the timing of financial close and the commencement of full construction in the near future.”
Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “This is a dreadful blow to communities in the vicinity of the planned giant incinerator. The BACI team of volunteers deserve huge credit for the incredible battle they have fought on behalf of local residents. At the very least a clear message has been sent to Covanta and all regulatory bodies that every move will be watched closely and that residents will fight tirelessly for the good of their community.”