Allerton Park campaigners’ High Court fight starts

Protestors young and old  gather outside Allerton Park quarry near Knaresborough in October last year.

Protestors young and old gather outside Allerton Park quarry near Knaresborough in October last year.

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Campaigners fighting plans for a waste incinerator plant at Allerton Park have taken their first steps towards the High Court in their battle to stop the scheme.

The campaign against thte plans, led by Marton cum Grafton Parish Council, has launched its bid for Judicial Review after North Yorkshire County Council’s granted planning permission for the plant in October 2012.

The campaigners have sent “letters before action” to both North Yorkshire County Council and City of York Council, as well as operators AmeyCespa, retired solicitor and campaignerDavid Gripton confirmed.

The letters were issued on Tuesday, April 2, giving the councils and company seven days to decide whether to contest the campaigners’ claims about problems with the scheme’s environmental impact assessment and evidence of need for the rubbish incineration plant.

A High Court judge will then decide whether the case should be subject to judicial review, with a decision expected within amonth, but it could be as long as another 12 months before campaigners have their day in court.

A spokesman for the county council said they expected to “robustly” defend any claims.

However, the future of the scheme has already been left uncertain after the Government announced it was withdrawing PFI funding.

NYCC is now reviewing its long term waste strategy with contractor AmeyCespa, but it could take “some weeks or months” for for the council to make any decision, the spokesman said.

He added: “It is expected that Council members will be asked to consider the contract and confirm that the project remains affordable later in the summer.”