Fundraising Target for first stage of Appeals Process reached
BACI are pleased to announce that the fundraising target for the first stage of the process to challenge the High Court Judgment at the Court of Appeals has been reached.
Despite the challenges of the festive period – concerned residents yet again rose to the occasion – and through a community effort – we have been able to work with our Legal Team to begin the process of formally challenging the previous ruling.
All required documentation for this stage is now with the Court of Appeal – and we are awaiting their decision to allow us permission to continue to a full hearing in front of 3 Judges.
We are advised that the time period for the permission stage decision is extremely variable.
We will have more time to reach future targets for the Hearing stage – as we are advised – after permission – the Court of Appeals can move very slowly. Due to extended time periods – we will be looking at holding fundraising events to help boost the funds.
Thank you for your continued support.
Decision to continue to the Court of Appeal
The BACI Committee met on Thursday 15th November to discuss the possibility of proceeding with a challenge to the High Court Judgement at the Court of Appeals.
The Committee unanimously agreed that BACI should take the opportunity to proceed to the Court of Appeals. This – of course – is dependant on the full and generous support of those who would be affected by Covanta’s plans.
The main points that the Committee considered were:
- both our Barrister and Solicitor have stated that they believe there is merit in moving forward with the case.
- the judgement contained elements that could be described as contradictory
- the reliance on actual ‘precedents’ in the judgement was weak – as although 2 Appeals/Supreme Court judgements were cited – one relied on the other as precedent.
- the main precedent claim in question was judged in 2003. Our knowledge of the effects of pollution is growing every day – as is the amount of pollution we are subjected to.
- advice that the ruling High Court Judge is one of the most overturned of the Judges
- the situation we find ourselves in is that the money already raised and spend on the High Court Case would effectively be lost unless we build on this opportunity to appeal – with the added possibility of affecting future cases involving regulators such as the EA i.e creating precedent.
- the impact of Covanta’s plans will have such a profound and destructive effect on the Marston Vale and surrounds for 35 – 40 years
- the timings involved in a Court of Appeals case would allow ample time to fundraise for the hearing stage – which we are advised is likely to be as late as the end of 2019. It was noted that the timings for the first step – which is the permission stage – is very tight.
- at a recent Global Industrial Conference Covanta stated that the High Court Judicial Review had meant that they had put their plans for finalising the construction contracts and achieving financial close for the project on hold*
*audio webcast can be accessed via http://wsw.com/webcast/baird53/cva/index.aspx . The section that mentions the UK and Rookery Pit starts at time index 12.55. If the audio file will not play – select “switch to another player” and then the HTML5 button.
Appeal Court Costs
Some of the stages are similar to a Judicial Review Case – but the main costs involved in an Appeal Court Case occur at the beginning and end of the claim.
To Paper Permission Stage – £8,400
Estimate to Hearing Stage – £24,000
Following the BACI Committee Meeting – we reached out to residents with our reasons for voting to continue to an Appeal (if supported by the public) and asked for comments.
In light of the limited time we had to consult before instructing the Legal Team – the main forum used for feedback was the BACI Facebook Group.
Over 300 supportive responses were received and only a handful of unsupportive – via this Group. The supportive responses received were from both members that have supported BACI for some time and new members.
BACI has also spoken with the Mayor of Bedford who is fully supportive of the decision to move forward to an Appeal.
The indications of continued support are good and therefore BACI lunching the fundraising for the first stage to move forward with an Appeal.
Judicial Review High Court Ruling
Press Release 06/11/18
BACI (Bedfordshire Against Covanta Incinerator) has today [06/11/18] received the judgment from the Courts regarding the Judicial Review Claim against the Environment Agency’s issue of an operating permit for Covanta’s Rookery Pit Incinerator.
It is with great disappointment that we must announce that the Judge has ruled in favour of the Environment Agency and has dismissed our claim to quash the Permit.
In her judgment the Judge conceded that Covanta had made a factual and scientific error in its permit application. The Judge also acknowledged that the Environment Agency had not made any clarification or disclaimer concerning this error – either during the consultation process or in the decision document. She concluded however – that she finds that the Environment Agency did not adopt the error into the permit that was issued.
This campaign has truly been a community effort and has united residents from many different Towns and villages in and around the Marston Vale in a common cause.
If developed the Covanta Incinerator could be operating for up to 40 years and will signal the beginning of re-industrialization of the Marston Vale and the end of regeneration of the area.
In order to give residents the best possible opportunity to continue to fight this – we will be seeking legal advice regarding the viability of an Appeal against the decision. Our initial feelings are that the reasoning and judgment appears somewhat contradictory and there appears to be reliance on precedents set by other claims that need reviewing in the pollution threatened world we find ourselves in at the moment.
We will be going through the judgment in more detail and further information will be available on our website https://bedsagainstincinerator.wordpress.com/ shortly.
Although the current situation is obviously not the best outcome – taking control and taking a statutory regulatory body to court is an achievement in itself – and gives a clear message to both Covanta and the Environment Agency that the public have a voice and will be watching their every move.
BACI (Bedfordshire Against Covanta Incinerator) was formed in 2016 to oppose the Covanta Incinerator at Rookery Pit South and has no political affiliations. For more details – please contact Nicola Ryan-Raine firstname.lastname@example.org
- Full Write Up of the events of the 2 days
- Full Photo Gallery
- Extra information video regarding the basis of the Judicial Review claim and showing current progress in the pit
A massive thank you to everybody who sent good luck messages throughout the 2 days – sorry we were unable to take any photos or videos inside the Court Building itself.
Thank you all for your Continued Support
If there are any funds left over at any point – this will be used either in the wider campaign (if this is still existing) for example on air pollution monitoring equipment or another local project.
The Covanta Incinerator – Background
The Covanta Incinerator – Environmental Permitting Process
The Covanta Incinerator – Main Points
Concerns regarding Incineration as a process
Incineration, Recycling and the Circular Economy – Slides