Covanta Judicial Review Welcomed

Wixams and Wilstead Cllr Graeme Coombes has welcomed the news that there will be a judicial review of the environmental permit awarded for the proposed Covanta incinerator at Stewartby. 

In August 2010 Covanta applied to the Infrastructure Planning Commission to develop an Energy Recovery Facility at Rookery South, Stewartby.  Despite objections from Bedford Borough Council, Central Bedfordshire Council and local residents, a joint committee of the Houses of Parliament approved the application in December 2012 and a Development Consent Order (DCO) was granted in February 2013.

The DCO gave 5 years for development to commence, although this was conditional on Covanta securing an environmental ermit from the Environment Agency.  The permit was agreed in January 2018.

Earlier this month the campaign group Bedfordshire Against Covanta Incinerator (BACI) was informed that it had been successful in securing a judicial review hearing which will determine whether or not the Environment Agency considered all the relevant issues and adhered to procedure in agreeing the permit.

Along with fellow Cllrs Roger Rigby and Martin Towler, Cllr Coombes was able last week to question Environment Agency and Covanta representatives at a meeting of the Council’s Environment and Sustainable Communities Committee in Stewartby.  Following the meeting he said:

‘BACI campaigners should be congratulated for their tenacity in securing a judicial review of the permit granted by the Environment Agency.

‘What I heard at the Committee meeting from the Environment Agency and Covanta reaffirmed my view that developing an enormous waste facility on this site will be a disaster for the surrounding villages, including Wilstead and Wixams whom I represent.

‘At the meeting we were told that the anticipated 594 lorry movements a day servicing the site was not a consideration in granting the permit.  This is remarkable as nearby residents will be exposed to particulates emanating not just from the incineration process but also from the exhaust fumes of dirty diesel vehicles.

‘My Conservative colleagues and I are completely opposed to the facility and we were pleased to join with other parties to record our condemnation to it being granted a permit.’