After over two years fighting against a second mass waste incinerator in Belvedere the case is finally closed, and the Government approved site will now go ahead. Jon Cruddas MP launched a campaign against the proposals back in 2018 when all reports suggested it would damage air quality, human health, and biodiversity across the south of Dagenham and Rainham.
The campaign attracted far reaching support from the Mayor of London, neighbouring MPs such as Abena Oppong-Asare and environmental groups including Greenpeace and the Wildlife Trusts.
Back in summer 2020 the Mayor of London secured a Judicial Review of the decision to approve the waste incinerator, but this was then withdrawn due to the huge cost to taxpayers and the low likelihood of success.
Jon Cruddas said: "throughout this campaign I have been reminded of the late Bob Crow who said; ‘if you fight you won't always win. But if you don't fight you will always lose.' That is why when the judicial review was withdrawn, I worked with Abena in Erith to find other sources of funding to push ahead. Greenpeace pledged their support as did others, but by that point there was no way to reopen the process for a legal challenge."
Construction of the Riverside Energy Park begins next year, and the site will become fully operational in 2024. The opposition to the project was extensive and whilst there is disappointment there is still ongoing work in holding Cory to account on their environmental standards.
Jon added: "we fought tooth and nail against the Government to try and stop this. It is a very disappointing outcome that lines up with Tory environmental attitudes and flies in the face of air quality, recycling, and biodiversity targets. However, the work is not over. I will continue to monitor the project through construction and operation to ensure that every necessary action is being taken to protect the health of my constituents and our environment."
You can find out more about the project via their website: Cory Riverside Energy Park (en-GB)
And you can see all of the concerns that were raised by Jon Cruddas MP here: https://joncruddas.org.uk/sites/default/files/JC%20Final%20Written%20Representation%20-%20Planning%20Inspectorate%20REF.%20EN010093.pdf