Dagenham and Rainham MP slams government over expanded waste incinerator plan
- Credit: Pawel Szewczyk
The government's "poor handling" of environmental issues is hitting working class communities hardest.
That's the message from Dagenham and Rainham's Labour MP Jon Cruddas.
Mr Cruddas's criticism followed waste management firm Cory Group applying to the government to expand its Belvedere incinerator.
Last year a group of MPs, councillors, and green organisations lost a two-year battle with Cory after ministers approved plans for a second waste incinerator opposite Dagenham and Rainham on the banks of the Thames.
Now the company has applied to secretary of state Kwasi Kwarteng to expand its operation.
Mr Cruddas said this would send more toxic air across the south of his constituency.
"I cannot in all good conscience allow this application to go unchallenged," he said.
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The MP has called on the mayor of London Sadiq Khan and the Greater London Authority to oppose the plans.
He said: "This application, and the one that went before, are prime examples of how working-class communities are hit hardest by the government's poor handling of environmental issues. They wouldn’t dump a mass waste incinerator in Richmond."
A spokesperson said the government cannot comment on a live planning application, but would treat a letter sent by Mr Cruddas to Mr Kwarteng as a representation in respect of Cory's bid.
Mr Cruddas accused the applicant of using outdated quotes from Public Health England from 2010-2012 to justify the plans.
He said Dagenham and Rainham now has the highest rates of poor health linked to waste incineration in London, pointing to a 2020 GLA report which found Barking and Dagenham and Havering have the highest death rate attributable to energy from waste emissions in the capital.
A spokesperson said Cory is highly regulated and subject to strict emissions limits under its environmental permit.
The spokesperson pointed to a Public Health England statement that modern energy from waste facilities is unlikely to pose a significant health risk under current regulations.
The new application is referred to as the riverside optimisation project.