Almost seven years since its initial planning application and after two public inquiries, Riverside Resource Recovery Ltd (RRRL) has been given the go ahead to build the UK’s largest energy from waste (EfW) power station in Belvedere, South East London. Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks gave the project his approval in a Written Ministerial Statement on 15 June 2006.
RRRL made its application in September 1999 and the proposal was subject to one of the most high profile and long-running inquiries in 2003 lasting from 1 July to 3 October. In mid-2004, the Department of Trade and Industry announced that no final decision had been made and the inquiry would be reopened in September 2005. Following a further three-week inquiry and after a total of 18 witnesses appeared in favour of the scheme, this decision finally gives the project the green light.
The EfW plant will process a nominal average of 585,000 tonnes of waste per year from at least four London boroughs, over its 30 year life. It will produce up to 66 megawatts of electricity which would be sufficient to supply the needs of 66,000 homes. The plant has also been designed to provide combined heat and power to local commercial sites. RRRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cory Environmental Limited.
The Lovells team comprised of Head of Planning Michael Gallimore and senior associate, Claire Dutch. Lovells instructed Richard Phillips QC of 2 Harcourt Buildings to represent RRRL who was assisted by Simon Pickles of Landmark Chambers.
Commenting on the decision, Michael Gallimore said:
“We are very pleased to have advised RRRL on this high profile planning application and are delighted with today’s decision. The nature of the project was inherently complex, due to the wide range of issues involved, including legal and policy-based considerations, as well as the technical and scientific matters which had to be addressed.”
John Boldon, Director of Planning at Cory and Project Director said:
“We have been hugely impressed with the way in which Lovells coordinated and managed what was a long and involved public inquiry whilst always providing excellent strategic and commercial advice. They very quickly got to grips with the technical issues involved in the project. The whole inquiry team acknowledged the very valuable role they have played in an extremely demanding process.”
The main objector to RRRL’s proposals was the London Borough of Bexley. The Council’s in-house solicitors instructed Neil King QC of 2 Mitre Court.