Protester drops incinerator case due to ‘prohibitive financial risk’

An artist's impression of what the new energy recovery facility could look like

An artist's impression of what the new energy recovery facility could look like - Credit: Grimshaw Architects

Requesting direct action from Michael Gove is among the tactics planned after a protester rescinded her attempt to halt a north London incinerator project due to potential costs. 

Dorothea Hackman, 69, appealed for a judicial review into the decision to approve the £1.2 billion redevelopment of the Edmonton Incinerator. 

On February 10, her solicitors received a response from the North London Waste Authority (NLWA), the body managing the project, telling her that she was too late, having missed the 30-day window following the date the contract was agreed with Spanish company Acciona. 

Camden resident Dorothea Hackman wrote a letter to the NLWA requesting a judicial review into the Edmonton Incinerator

Dorothea Hackman had requested a judicial review into the approval of the Edmonton Incinerator by the NLWA, though was told that her pre-application letter had been submitted too late - Credit: Archant

The plans have drawn criticism from protesters, with multiple demonstrations and MPs voicing concerns about the scale and suitability of the incinerator. 

The NLWA, which is made up of representatives from seven north London councils – Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest – argues that it will provide jobs, electricity for up to 127,000 homes, and will result in limited environmental impact. 

Dorothea, chair of the Camden Civic Society, said that due to the NLWA not considering the project to fall under the Aarhus Convention, which limits costs in cases involving environmental justice. 

“My pockets simply aren’t deep enough for me to take on a public body that relies on taxpayers to cover its legal services,” she said.

Instead, as part of the Stop the Edmonton Incinerator Now coalition (STEIN), she is focussing on approaches including calling on the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to require carbon-capture and storage and a pre-sorting facility, and is demanding the UK Municipal Bonds Agency withdraw the green bonds it issued to finance the project. 

People gather on Edmonton Green on 16.01.22. before a rally and march along Fore St against the Edmo

People gather on Edmonton Green on January 16 before a rally and march along Fore Street against the Edmonton Incinerator - Credit: Polly Hancock

STEIN has sent a letter to Michael Gove, secretary for levelling up, housing and communities, requesting he investigates the NLWA in view of “manifest incompetence, lack of accountability and failure of its scrutiny function”. 

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An NLWA spokesperson said: “Our decision to award the contract to build a world-class infrastructure project was conscientiously taken after full consideration of all the facts. It represents the best environmental, technical, and economic solution to the treatment of waste in north London. 

“The fact that those opposed to the project have decided not to proceed with a judicial review is further confirmation that NLWA’s decision was properly taken. NLWA will continue to move forward with providing these much-needed assets to serve two million residents in north London.”