Communities secretary Eric Pickles is appealing against the high court’s decision to overturn planning permission on the St Dennis, Cornwall, incinerator.
A spokesperson for the Department for Communities and Local Government confirmed that Pickles would be appealing but said no further comment would be made.
In October the high court overturned planning permission for the £117m Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre (CERC) at St Dennis, to be operated by Sita, because crucial work scrutinising its impact on nearby Special Areas of Conservation was not done.
Cornwall Council released the following statement: “The council welcomes the decision of the Secretary of State to appeal the high court judgement which will enable the legal situation to be clarified and hopefully will end the uncertainty for everyone involved.
“The council is not a party to the legal proceedings however, in view of the importance of this case to the people of Cornwall and the finances of the council, members and officers will clearly be following any developments very closely.
“Sita are taking an active part in the proceedings and the council will liaise closely with Sita to ensure that the council’s interests are safeguarded.”
An official statement from Sita said: “Sita UK welcomes today’s announcement that the Secretary of State will appeal the recent High Court judgement that withdrew planning permission for the Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre.
“We hope that the appeal will be heard as quickly as possible, as the people of Cornwall need clarity over the way their waste problem will be managed.
“We remain convinced that the CERC is the best financial, technical and environmental solution for Cornwall. If the Secretary of State’s appeal is upheld, in due course, then it will bring us all a step closer to putting Cornwall’s residual waste to good use, with the production of enough energy to power around 21,000 homes and the ability to provide heat to local industry.”
Campaigner Elizabeth Hawken when told the news said: “We have always said if they want to go to the House of Lords well ‘so be it’. Our barristers are quite ready and willing to go forward again.
“But the thing is the appeal actually doesn’t help because it might not be heard for two years. So all they are doing is putting it back. The council and Sita can’t do anything until it goes through the House of Lords.”