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court ref no: CO/2873/97 ...
court ref no: CO/2873/97

A Bolton man's bid to stop a new£12m waste incinerator and energy reclamation plant opening less than a mile from his home has been adjourned by a high court judge.

Mr Justice Sedley said the complex issues of law, including detailed analysis of European anti-pollution directives, raised by Roger Kirkman's case would require considerable court time, and a slot could not be found yesterday.

It is hoped the case will be able to return to court for a full hearing in the next few weeks.

Mr Kirkman is challenging Oldham MBC's decision on May 30 this year to grant planning consent for preliminary work on the construction of the state-of-the-art incinerator on a 1.36 hectare site off Raikes Lane.

The site has been used for municipal waste incineration since 1966, but the old machinery had to be closed down in December last year because it did not meet the stringent requirements of EU directives on emissions into the atmosphere.

But, just a few days later, Greater Manchester Waste Ltd applied for planning permission to install a waste energy recovery system and replacement flue gas cleaning equipment, complete with storage tanks and external pipe network.

The works, for which the council's planning control sub-committee granted planning consent on May 30, are the first stage in a planned£12m investment.

The new incinerator will have 60 percent greater capacity than its predecessor, is designed to comply with pollution laws and will include a high-tech system for reclaiming energy from waste materials.

But Mr Kirkman, who lives in Sidford Close, Darcy Lever, less than 1,000 metres downwind from the site, says there is widespread local concern about the impact of the incinerator on the atmosphere and public health.

The council's decision, he claims, flies in the face of government guidelines that recycling, re-using or reclamation methods of waste management are to be preferred to incineration.

And he says it was 'irrational' of the council to grant planning consent before risk assessment, soil analysis and environmental assessment reports had been completed.

When Mr Kirkman's case returns to the high court for a full hearing will depend on the state of busy court lists and no date could be set yesterday.

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