Thursday, 27 March 2014

High Court Judge rules against CATI

After repeated delays the High Court Judge rules against CATI - we will appeal
There is already a copy available here 

CATI are disappointed that judge Wyn Williams has turned down the application in Pauline Ellaway's name to quash the planning permission granted by Cardiff in February 2013.  Important points are overlooked in the judgement.
Pauline said she'd rather expected a negative judgement from the judge's questioning at the hearing in Cardiff High Court on 17-18 December, adding that she'd preferred the specialist judge who had been first nominated to hear the case.
The lawyers - Alex Goodman plus Richard Buxton Environmental and Public Law firm - advise that the case should be appealed and are putting in an urgent request for continuing funding for the Appeal Court stage.  
That companies could build without planning permission and the public authorities could delay any action to stop the unlawful construction for over six months would be a big hole in planning law if allowed to stand.

The Viridor application has higher status as “EIA-development” and is subject to European planning law.  Breaching this law means the case could proceed to European level.

Granting retrospective permission for much lesser EIA-works, without securing evidence on those works, was quashed recently (HHJ Mackie QC on Padden, 22 Jan’2014) by a High Court judge in England.   

After this start in the Cardiff High Court, CATI are hopeful the case will be won at the next stage.

CATI activities

Activities ongoing 
1.  Complaint to Ombudsman re. Cardiff’s falsification of Planning Cttee decision.
An outline complaint made to the Council is awaiting a reply.
2. High Court case.  Still no announcement of the result.  But another High Court decision quashing retrospective approval of EIA-=development gives us hope the same would apply to Viridor. (see below) 
3. State Aid – application to Europe together with FOE Cymru and SNIC (Newport) to be re-submitted with a strong argument on our ‘interest’ in the case.  Perhaps a Petition on the Assembly website would give it prominance and help win politicians’ support.
4. Objection to Cardiff Council’s Auditor – 
  • the 25-year contract was signed without due diligence, relying on PG’s unqualified personnel and Russell Goodway.
  • the cost is far above best-value levels secured by other Councils £100 per tonne compared with £60-80 per tonne for similar English incinerators (25-yr)
  • Cardiff Officers and Cabinet accepted PG’s excessive waste projections that ignore Cardiff’s target for waste prevention etc. 
  • Cardiff Officers and Cabinet failed to get PG to consider better (cheaper; more flexible)  technologies now available, being adopted elsewhere. 

5. Discharge of Cdn 4 on remediation  13/02600/DCO - Public Consultation
New Notice posted 12 Feb. (date 20 Feb) announcing new late data, extending the consultation time for 21 days from the published date.  The officers have failed to explain data that’s still lacking and  failure to meet promises of Remediation/verification reports .
6. Lorries to the Viridor Site – were they responsible for the death of the cyclist on Toxic Ave?

Another High Court decision quashing retrospective approval of EIA-=development gives us hope the same would apply to Viridor.
The High Court (HHJ Mackie QC) today quashed a planning permission for EIA development granted by Maidstone Borough Council which, inter alia,  authorised the retention of 100,000’s of tonnes of construction waste that had been imported onto land without planning permission in order to form raised fishing lakes: R (Paddden) v Maidstone Borough Council. The importation was having adverse effects on the home of the Claimant including causing groundwater flooding.
The learned Judge found, applying Case C-215/06 Commission v Ireland [2008] ECR I-4911 and R (Ardagh Glass Ltd ) v Chester City Council & Others [2011] P.T.S.R. 1498, that the Council had failed to consider the question of whether there were exceptional circumstances to justify the grant of permission. He also found that in granting permission the Council had unlawfully failed to make reasonable enquiries to try to obtain the factual information necessary for its decision on the application and that officers had failed to report to Members concerns about a proposed condition to deal with ground water flooding which had been raised by the Environment Agency.
James Maurici QC appeared for the successful Claimant instructed by Dechert LLP.

Viridor workers hospitalised after pollution spill

Pollution Event hits Workforce on Viridor’s Waste Incinerator in Warrington
Cardiff people should be warned by the pollution event at Viridor’s new plant in Warrington, says Cardiff Against the Incinerator (CATI).

Viridor workers hospitalised after pollution spill
The emission of very fine dust particles of lime causing irritation to the eyes and respiratory problems led to 17 hospital cases, fortunately not too serious.  This was during commissioning of the plant, though very fine fly-ash particles will be similarly high in lime. 
Max Wallis, on behalf of CATI said:   Viridor’s plant in Splott is due to reach a similar commissioning phase in the next 6 to 12 months, unless the High Court put a stop on it.  Local people need to be warned – these incinerator plants emit as well as fumes much hazardous dust particles that are poorly controlled.
Rob Griffiths (CATI chair)  58 Janet St., Splott, tel 07790 884137
David Prosser (Press) 029 20791993 or 07504 323422
Max Wallis  (Planning/Legal)  07714 163254