Page last updated at 19:21 GMT, Tuesday, 22 July 2008 20:21 UK

Court rejects incinerator protest

Incinerator protest
Some of the protesters scaled a crane on the site

Objections by environmentalists against plans to build a controversial incinerator in East Sussex have been rejected in the High Court.

A judge threw out an attempt to overturn planning permission for the plant in Newhaven, which would burn 210,000 tonnes of waste every year.

Five campaigners who occupied the North Quay site on Tuesday morning have been arrested by Sussex Police.

Officers are planning to climb a crane to remove six other protestors.

East Sussex County Council said the Newhaven incinerator is needed because landfill space is running out.

We are still very concerned that this incinerator will prevent the achievement of recycling targets
Phil Michaels, Friends of the Earth

Plans for the incinerator, which would generate electricity, were given conditional approval last year as part of the county's 10-year waste plan.

Rupert Clubb, from East Sussex County Council, said: "The impact from a modern energy-from-waste facility on the environment and human health is negligible."

Friends of the Earth, which brought the case to the High Court for a judicial review, said it is considering "whether there are grounds to appeal".

Phil Michaels, from the charity, said: "We are disappointed the High Court did not accept that the decision to approve the Newhaven incinerator was unlawful.

"We are still very concerned that this incinerator will prevent the achievement of recycling targets."

A 45-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of obstruction and assaulting police on Tuesday morning and four others were later arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass.

'Unlawful occupation'

Supt Steve Voice, from Sussex Police, said: "Our priority is the safety of everyone involved and while we are quite happy to facilitate lawful protest, the action of these protestors is now unlawful and they have been advised that their occupation is unlawful and they have been directed to leave."

The protesters on the crane said they had enough food and water for several days.

"We need to think of alternatives to incinerating our waste which aren't killing ourselves and the planet," said Mike Hill, speaking from the crane by mobile phone.

"It is ridiculous that this can just get pushed through against an enormous amount of opposition."

Court reviews incinerator plans
21 Jul 08 |  Sussex
Inquiry starts over incinerator
13 Nov 07 |  Sussex
Waste incinerator plan approved
21 Feb 07 |  Sussex

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