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Cornwall incinerator campaigners to fight on

Campaigners have pledged to fight on against the controversial Cornwall incinerator, following a legal decision that it can be built.

The High Court overturned planning permission for the £117m Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre (CERC) in October 2011 because work scrutinising its impact on nearby conservation areas was not done.

But the Government won a case at the Appeal Court this week reinstating the project’s planning permission.

David Buckle, project director at SITA who will operate the facility, said the CERC was desperately needed by Cornwall.

He said: “Today’s judgment means that we are a step closer to putting Cornwall’s residual waste to good use, with the production of enough energy to power the equivalent of 21,000 homes and the ability to provide heat to local industry.”

But local anti-incinerator campaigners have said they intend to continue their fight and are looking at their legal options.

Cornwall Waste Forum St Dennis Branch chairman Ken Rickard said: “We are obviously disappointed. However the grounds of the judgement decision are open to further challenge.

“It must be emphasised that this is not the end of the road as regards to our campaign as there are still various options open to us. The campaign will continue until all avenues are exhausted.

“Our legal team have already applied for leave to appeal to the Supreme court and if necessary will take our case to the European Court.

“Also an injunction is being considered to prevent SITA from restarting any work on the planning proposal.”

Energy-from-waste projects have been in the spotlight in recent months.

Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk announced plans to legally challenge Defra’s decision to part-fund the £500m Norfolk incinerator project.

Tory MP Anne McIntosh, chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Efra) select committee, told MRW earlier this month that she wanted the group to look at EfW - and that it could take evidence from industry chiefs.   

McIntosh said she did not understand why the UK public was so “sceptical and worried” about EfW when residents in other “very ecologically and environmentally sensitive” European countries, such as Denmark, were very accepting.     

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