The proposal has since been delayed. Last December, the High Court ordered the plant’s pollution prevention and control permit to be quashed as the Environment Agency failed to explain how it had taken account of greenhouse gas emissions in its decision (ENDS Reports 398, p 21 and 397, p 17 ).
Friends of the Earth’s Lewes branch, local campaign group DOVE 2000 and Newhaven Town Council applied for the judicial review.
Dove 2000 claimed the original planning permission was now invalid as East Sussex County Council had relied on the PPC permit when making its decision. However, at the High Court in July, Mr Justice Sullivan dismissed the claim. A grant of planning permission does not rely on there being an environment permit in place, he said. A new permit had also already been issued.
He also dismissed Friends of the Earth’s claim the council’s decision had failed to take account of regional recycling targets. East Sussex’s regional planning guidance contains an "aspirational" target for recycling or composting 60% of waste by 2025. A similar target features in the South East England Regional Assembly’s draft spatial strategy. FoE Lewes said these targets had not been properly considered by the council, and the incinerator would make them difficult to achieve.
But Mr Justice Sullivan said account would have been taken of them, and pointed out East Sussex had lodged an objection to inclusion of the targets in SEERA’s plan.