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
In order to move forward – it is essential that we are able to share the burden – as before – both collectively and financially.