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Last Updated: Friday, 23 February 2007, 21:00 GMT
Mayor loses incinerator challenge
The government is backing the incinerator plan
London's mayor has lost a legal bid to prevent a giant waste incinerator being built in south-east London.

Ken Livingstone and Bexley Council challenged a government decision to build one of Europe's largest incinerator plants in Belvedere.

The government said the plant would tackle waste but critics said it would add to climate change and discourage borough councils from recycling.

The High Court rejected the mayor's bid for a judicial review of the decision.

Mr Livingstone said he was "disappointed" by the decision and said it was "a bad day for London's environment".

"It means that hundreds of thousands of tonnes of London's rubbish, which could have been recycled or used to produce biofuels and hydrogen, will simply be burnt," Mr Livingstone said.

"These kinds of incinerators will release as much carbon per unit of energy as a coal-fired power station.

People who know about what's happening are against it
Jon Livingstone, Badair
"Given the scale of the challenge facing us on climate change this incinerator is an obscenity."

The government said the plant would be fuelled by waste which would otherwise have been sent to landfill sites in the Home Counties.

Ian Clement, the leader of Bexley Council, said the High Court decision seemed to be "the end of the road" for opposition to the plan.

Pressure group Badair (Bexley and District Against Incineration Risks) had also opposed the plan to build the 72 megawatt capacity plant.

Member Jon Livingstone said: "People who know about what's happening are against it.

"This community was against it, it was totally undemocratic but it was thrust upon us by the government."

Review launched to tackle waste
14 Feb 06 |  Science/Nature
Q&A: Waste incineration
14 Feb 06 |  Science/Nature

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