From Keighley News, 3rd October 2017
Written by Miran Rahman
OPPONENTS of plans to build a waste to energy incinerator in Keighley vowed to keep up the momentum at their latest public meeting. About 120 members of the public attended the event in Central Hall, Alice Street, last night. (Oct 2)
Aire Valley Against Incineration (AVAI) committee member and Riddlesden resident Charlotte Miller, addressed the gathering.
She said everyone who has backed the campaign should feel pleased that it has won permission for a Judicial Review of the council decision to approve proposals for the incinerator.
Applicant Endless Energy wants to build this facility off the eastern end of Marley Road, next to the Aire Valley Bypass.
Mrs Miller said: "We've got through the first stage which is brilliant because not every application for a Judicial Review gets this far.
"We should be celebrating what we've achieved. The community has really pulled together in terms of people giving their time, donations and helping to spread the word.
"Our case will be heard by a senior high court judge, and we're waiting for a date to be allocated for our two days in court.
"That date could be in nine to 12 months time, or it could be sooner than that, we don't know."
She said AVAI had raised a total of £41,013 to fund the fight against the incinerator, £15,918 of which has been spent.
"Based on our barristers' estimates we have the minimum amount required to cover our legal costs, whether we win or lose," she said.
"But we're still raising money because the more we collect the better our case will be and it'll allow our legal team to explore additional evidence.
"If we're not successful with the Judicial Review we'll need our reserves to put together a case for arguing against the issuing of an Environment Agency permit."
Keighley MP John Grogan, who has thrown his weight behind the campaign, also spoke at the public meeting.
He said even if the matter goes to Environment Agency Permit stage, this would be an extensive, rigorous process where the applicant will need to show its incinerator is using the "Best Available Technique".
He said: "In Essex at the back end of last year the Environment Agency rejected an application for a permit on the grounds that the chimney would not disperse the fumes sufficiently because the stack was not high enough – that should give us hope.
"Endless Energy could be caught in a Catch 22, where they need a higher chimney to comply with Environment Agency rules, even though that higher stack would be rejected on separate planning grounds."
Mr Grogan, who sits on the Government's Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, said he would be calling for a moratorium on the building of waste to energy plants.
He said the latest national information drawn up by independent consultants shows there is now a surplus of such plants, leading to the "perverse" situation where they do not have enough waste to fuel the incinerators.
Endless Energy has previously argued that generating energy from waste that would otherwise end up in landfill has a long, successful track record in the UK.
The company notes that there are dozens of proven facilities across the UK and Europe operating safely while under the strictest environmental regulations.
It has also said its Keighley plant would create around 300 jobs during construction and 79 permanent jobs once the facility is operational.