Campaigners battling to stop a waste incinerator being built in Cardiff have started on the road to a High Court review.
The Viridor waste plant, due to be built in Splott, was granted a waste permit by the Environment Agency Wales in November last year – but campaigners are questioning the validity of the decision.
View a timeline of the Splott incinterator debate
Michael Imperato, from Cardiff legal firm Russell Jones & Walker, revealed the Cardiff Against the Incinerator campaign group, have served notice of a judicial review.
He said: “We were disappointed with the Environment Agency Wales’ response to our letter which questioned the basis and evidence for granting a permit.
“The campaigners are very serious about this challenge and we will be putting this before a judge.”
Mr Imperato said campaigners met last week with David Cunnington from the Old Square Chambers in London, an expert in environmental disputes.
Campaigners are unhappy about the way the consultation about the incinerator was carried out and evidence used about the health impacts on the local community.
Edmund Schluessel from the campaign group said: “We have issued a judicial review. Through this process we have explored a number of options we can take forward in this campaign to stop the incinerator.”
A spokesperson for Environment Agency Wales said: “We have not yet been notified that Cardiff Against the Incinerator Group have served papers for a Judicial Review over our decision to issue an environmental permit to Viridor to operate an incinerator in Cardiff. If this does happen, we will play a full part in any proceedings.
“We carried out a thorough and rigorous 18-month investigation into this application and have made sure that the local communities and the environment will be protected if the facility is built.”
Viridor, the firm proposing the 350,000 tonne incinerator for the Trident Park area of Splott, said the permit process had been “open” and “transparent.”
Dan Cooke, external affairs manager, said: “Viridor welcomes rational scrutiny of the process that has been followed by the Environment Agency in granting an Environmental Permit for the operation of an Energy from Waste Combined Heat and Power facility on Trident Park.
“The permitting process is open and transparent. The granting of this Permit followed a professional and detailed inspection of plans for the proposed facility and was in keeping with the thorough approach adopted by the Environment Agency across the UK on all schemes of this nature.
“Whilst people are of course entitled to scrutinise decisions that are made by public bodies, the views of a small number of politically motivated protestors are by no means representative of the wider community.
“Viridor would also like to make clear once again that the facility will use tried and tested technology that is already in operation at over 20 sites in the UK and over 400 sites across Europe. The operation of the facility will be constantly monitored by the Environment Agency.
“We will also be pleased to establish a local liaison group to ensure community involvement and scrutiny.”
The campaign group now have until Friday to serve proceedings on the Environment Agency Wales.