Incinerator case blurs division of planning and pollution controls

The Court of Appeal has considered Mr Justice Carnwath's recent decision in the Bolton incinerator case and suggested that the division between planning and pollution controls is no longer as clear in respect of waste management facilities as he had ruled. Although the Court upheld the planning permission for the incinerator, its judgment implies that planning authorities must be wary of simply relying on the expertise and opinion of the Environment Agency as the pollution regulator.

R v Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council ex parte Kirkham (Court of Appeal Civil Division, 5 May 1998) concerned a planning application by Greater Manchester Waste Ltd, a local authority waste disposal company, to refurbish the Bolton incinerator in order to meet new emission standards. The application was granted last May, but a local resident concerned about emissions from the plant challenged the decision by way of judicial review. Last Dece

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