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Gateshead MBC suffered bitter defeat today when its battle to stop plans for the construction of a clinical waste...
Gateshead MBC suffered bitter defeat today when its battle to stop plans for the construction of a clinical waste incinerator were thwarted in London's High Court.

Deputy Judge Jeremy Sullivan QC said there was nothing 'perverse' in the Environment Secretary's decision to grant outline planning permission for the incinerator at Felling Sewage Treatment Works, Follingsby Lane, Wardley.

The council had challenged the Environment Secretary's decision on May 24 this year to give the Northumbrian Water Group Plc the green light for the scheme. In doing so he departed from the 'short, unequivocal and clear' recommendations of his own planning inspector that planning permission be denied, the court heard.

Planning permission had initially been refused on locational grounds and because of concerns about the impact of emissions from the incinerator on the environment and public health, said the judge.

The council claimed up to 17,000 local residents were desperately concerned about environmental impact and that emissions from the plant might 'find their way into the food chain'. The judge said: 'It is clear the Secretary of State does not operate a blanket leave it all to the Environmental Protection Act policy.'

'Although it clear beyond any doubt that the environmental implications of emissions into the atmosphere is a material consideration at the planning stage it was right that in this instance that the Minister should conclude those issues should be determined by the HMIP at a later stage.'

The judge dismissed Gateshead's appeal against the Secretary of State's decision and ordered the local authority to pay the costs incurred by both the Environment Department and Northumbrian Water Group Plc.

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