Villagers lose St Dennis waste plant battle


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Work is due to resume on a multimillion-pound incinerator in the heart of the countryside after a legal bid to halt its construction was thrown out.

Cornwall Council says the building of the energy from waste plant will resume on Monday, after a legal campaign funded by local residents earned a temporary reprieve.

Workers building a link road to the site, in St Dennis near the Eden Project, were forced to down tools several months ago after the villagers launched a legal challenge against the incinerator.

They said the plant, designed to handle Cornwall's domestic waste, would ruin the natural landscape of the area, and cited health concerns for local residents.

But last month the Supreme Court refused permission for the St Dennis Branch of the Cornwall Waste Forum to challenge the Court of Appeal's decision to reinstate the planning permission for the plant.

And today Cornwall Council confirmed work would begin on the site on Monday.

Ken Rickard, of the St Dennis branch of the Cornwall Waste Forum, said residents remained committed to fighting the incinerator plans.

He said: "We will conduct ourselves properly and behave democratically, so we will not be doing anything to disrupt building works on Monday.

"But as far as we are concerned, this fight is not over yet. There are still options we are looking at.

"It is all very well the builders starting work but it could all end up being a spectacular waste of money in the long run if they are told to stop again."

In 2006, Sita UK signed a 30-year-contract with the then-Cornwall County Council to handle waste. The new unitary authority, established during a shake-up of local government, said it would cost the Cornish taxpayer significant sums to break the contract.

It was one chapter in a long-running saga to deal with the county's domestic waste, after the plan - which will cost up to £150 million - was refused permission at various stages of local democracy.

And last October, High Court Judge Mr Justice Collins quashed the Government's decision to grant planning permission for the project, though the Court of Appeal effectively gave the development the green light six months later.