London Mayor abandons Cory EfW appeal

The Mayor of London has abandoned moves for a judicial review over planning approval for Cory Riverside Energy to build a second energy from waste (EfW) facility. 

In April the Planning Inspectorate approved Cory’s plans for an 800,000 tonne EfW plant in south east London. The new plant is proposed alongside an existing Cory EfW facility in the London borough of Bexley by the River Thames (see story).

Plans are in place for an 800,000 tonnes per year capacity EfW to be built alongside Cory’s existing 750,000 tonne plant

Air quality

When the approval was announced, the Mayor’s office told the decision was “extremely disappointing”, and on 27 June 2020 the High Court granted him permission to bring a judicial review at a substantive hearing, to be held in October (see story).

Mr Khan has now announced that he has withdrawn his claim, blaming the “substantial costs” of proceeding to a full hearing.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “The Mayor has been clear that London is facing a climate emergency and does not need more energy from waste incinerators. He has repeatedly called on government to reject plans for the new proposed incinerator in Bexley.

Sadiq Khan believes London does not need more “energy from waste incinerators” (picture: Shutterstock)

“Following the Secretary of State’s decision to make the development consent order, the Mayor was granted permission from the High Court to bring a judicial review of this decision. However, after further legal advice the Mayor has taken the difficult decision to withdraw his claim, mindful of the substantial costs of proceeding to a full hearing. None of this detracts from his continued opposition to the Bexley incinerator.”

Mr Khan says he will now do all in his powers to ensure Cory operates “within the tightest emission limits to reduce air pollution and protect the environment and human health”.


Cory has welcomed the Mayor’s decision not to proceed with a judicial review. In a statement published today (1 October) the company said: “We welcome the Mayor’s decision to withdraw the judicial review claim against the Secretary of State’s decision to grant the Development Consent Order for the Riverside Energy Park.

“We welcome the Mayor’s decision to withdraw the judicial review claim”

Cory Riverside Energy

“Everyone in London wants a clean city and done responsibly energy-from-waste provides a modern, clean and efficient solution to waste management.

“The proposed Riverside Energy Park delivers such a solution, diverting waste from landfill that cannot be reused or recycled whilst converting it into secure and reliable supplies of low carbon energy as part of the UK’s transition into a low carbon economy.

“We will now be making necessary preparation to start construction of the project and we look forward to working with City Hall.”


Cory is to build the new plant alongside its existing 750,000 tonne capacity EfW facility on the south bank of the river Thames.

An anaerobic digestion facility with an annual waste throughput of up to 40,000 tonnes per annum of green and food waste is also to be built next to it.

It is thought the proposed plant, which Cory initially hoped would be operational by 2024, would mean the overall facility would be the second largest in the UK after the Viridor-owned Runcorn plant. Combined, Cory’s two plants will have the capacity to process around 1.5 million tonnes of residual waste a year.