Teresa Pearce MP welcomes London Mayor’s opposition to the proposal to build a new waste incineration plant in Belvedere


Today the Mayor of London has made clear his opposition to the proposal from Cory Riverside Energy to build a second waste incineration plant on its site next to the River Thames in Belvedere. The proposed incinerator is called the Riverside Energy Park, because it includes proposals to generate electricity as part of the waste incineration process. The project is currently under consideration by an Examining Inspector from the Planning Inspectorate, who will make recommendations to the Government, who will then decide. This is because it is argued to be of national significance and therefore not processed through the usual planning processes run by London Borough of Bexley. Under the plans the project would start operating in 2024.

As your local MP I fully support the Mayor’s stance in opposing this development, and I have submitted written representations to the Examining Inspector detailing why the scheme should not go ahead.

Below is a summary of my representations and the Mayor’s Press Release here: https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/stop-allowing-new-toxic-waste-incinerators

For details of the documents relating to the scheme and the processes relating to the Planning Inspectorate’s consideration of the proposal, you can visit:




I seriously question whether there is a need for more of the same waste incineration to be located in south east London and this area in particular. I regret that the Applicant has stated that “consideration of alternative sites was not deemed necessary.”


As far as I can see, the Riverside Energy Park will do nothing to encourage recycling or to reduce waste. I do not believe that it will contribute to the circular economy and does not support achieving high recycling rates. In fact, once councils buy into this scheme it is likely to suppress recycling rates in the capital.


It is counter intuitive to be increasing incineration capacity just as public opinion is forcing manufacturers and supermarkets to drastically change the way they package goods and their waste policies.


After landfill, incineration is the least environmentally friendly form of waste disposal, and the question I keep asking myself is whether the energy said to be produced by this scheme justifies the negative impact it would have on the surrounding areas.


I am concerned about the additional emissions that the new plant would generate and the effect on air quality for my constituents and those across the River Thames to where the prevailing wind carries the toxins.


The expanded incineration plant would be surrounded by three significant Opportunity Areas, which will see substantial housing expansion in the years ahead. This will create a much larger number of human receptors than the current modelling shows.


The proposed plant will be immediately adjacent to the Crossness Nature Reserve, one of the last remaining grazing marshland areas in Greater London, and the construction and operation of the REP could have a lasting negative impact on the wildlife nurtured over the past twenty years.


I question whether the proposal is viable in respect of the connection to the electricity grid, with potential transport disruption and traffic delays, and associated air quality impacts, during the laying of underground pipes along a busy road corridor.


I am concerned about important gaps in the viability of the essential combined heat and power component of the scheme. It is not clear how the £14m pipe infrastructure and £3m reserve boiler will be funded and by whom. I also have doubts as to where the demand will come from, and I am not aware of any combined heat and power projects that have come forward from the existing plant.


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