This week Jon Cruddas MP submitted a letter to the Planning Inspectorate outlining his concerns over the Riverside Energy Park proposals. The proposals would see a second mass waste incinerator established in Belvedere just across the Thames from Rainham, South Hornchurch and the Beam Park development area.

Jon has contacted the Chief Executives and Leaders of both Barking and Dagenham and Havering Council urging them to take part in the consultation and to oppose the planning application. Residents and organisations alike must register as an ‘Interested Party’ by Tuesday 12 February in order to comment on the proposals.

Jon Cruddas commented: “I have registered as an ‘Interested Party’ with the Planning Inspectorate so that I can comment on the plans as the application progresses. I am calling on both Havering and Barking and Dagenham Council to do the same. If approved, this development will have serious implications for air quality and human health across both boroughs.”

As part of the application Cory Environmental Holdings carried out an Environmental Impact Assessment which highlighted an increase in air pollutants such as arsenic, nickel, nitrogen dioxide etc. across the south of both Havering and Dagenham.

Jon added: “Local authorities have a duty of care for their residents, and every report so far has indicated that this development would be bad news for people living in the local area.”

At the beginning of the campaign Jon contacted a number of environmental organisations such as the Wildlife Trust and the RSPB. This week the Essex Wildlife Trust responded via social media saying ‘we have registered with the Planning Inspectorate as an interested party. We will examine the application and, if necessary, provide comments within the remit of potential impacts on wildlife and biodiversity.’

This is good news for the campaign as reports have clearly stated that the scale and type of potential emissions would threaten biodiversity. The Environmental Impact Assessment also highlights that the habitat of water voles and slow worms in the immediate vicinity of the development would suffer, both animals are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Jon concluded: “we need to build a broad coalition of voices against this proposal. It’s great to have the support of the MP for Erith and Thamesmead, and now the Wildlife Trust is going to take a closer look at the application. I’m urging both councils to get behind this campaign to protect our air.”

Residents can register as an interested party and comment on the proposals here: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/london/riverside-energy-park/?ipcsection=relreps&fbclid=IwAR0JFeuTQkR3ovHVRiuC8p6kJFtqHH9kHJCyVSNZRYTiw2D6IbXPYwsC82Q

Jon’s next submission to the Planning Inspectorate will include a petition. You can sign the petition here: https://joncruddas.org.uk/belvedere-incinerator-petition