This week Cory Environmental Holdings Limited are submitting an application to the Planning Inspectorate to build a ‘Riverside Energy Park’ in Belvedere, Bexley. The facility will produce over 96 megawatts of electricity through the mass incineration of waste. Due to the scale of the proposal the final decision will be taken by the Secretary of State.

Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham has launched a petition against the plans which will undoubtedly have a severe impact on air quality in his constituency, particularly Rainham and the Beam Park development area.

Sign Jon’s petition here: https://joncruddas.org.uk/belvedere-incinerator-petition

Jon explained: “incineration is the least environmentally friendly form of waste disposal after landfill, and the energy produced by this scheme if approved is not enough to justify the negative impact it would have on the London Riverside Opportunity areas. Over the last five years recycling rates have stalled across the UK whilst government approved waste incineration has doubled. The Tories seem to have a complete disregard for our environment and the quality of air we breathe.”

Thermal Energy from Waste (EfW) plants do deliver large energy generation benefits however, they do this by destroying waste materials in a harmful way which releases air pollutants and greenhouse gases on an industrial scale. The use of EfW plants will also have an impact on recycling rates in London with much recyclable waste being redirected and incinerated.

Jon commented: “there is a lot of development planned in the coming years, including nearly 3,000 new homes, two new schools, leisure facilities and open spaces. I don’t want the quality of life in the south of my constituency to be marred by poor air as a result of a Tory approved waste incineration plant billowing toxic fumes across the Thames.”

As part of the pre-application consultation with stakeholders the Greater London Authority have echoed Jon’s sentiments explaining that the “incineration of solid waste can lead to emissions of toxic heavy metals, dioxins, furans and other substances that are detrimental to human health and biodiversity.” The GLA stated that based on output projections “these impacts would be widespread across Rainham.” They also highlight that this would have negative impacts on biodiversity across the Ingrebourne Valley and Rainham Marshes.

Jon Cruddas MP added: “I am in complete opposition to the proposal and next year when these plans open up I hope that both local authorities in my constituency will join me in opposing the development. I will also be writing to the Thames Estuary Commission raising my concerns.”

The application fails to meet the Mayor of London’s key environmental and air quality policies included in the London Plan and draft London Plan, and as such the Riverside Energy Park is not supported by the Mayor of London. It is expected that in early 2019 local authorities will be able to respond to the proposals in the pre-examination period.

Sign Jon’s petition here: https://joncruddas.org.uk/belvedere-incinerator-petition