London Mayor Sadiq Khan will push for a judicial review into a decision to allow a second waste-burning incinerator to be built near the banks of the River Thames at Belvedere, he has confirmed.

Cory Riverside Energy’s application for the additional incinerator was rubber-stamped by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy last month following a Government inquiry into the plans in 2019.

The Mayor’s Office has maintained a long-running opposition to the scheme, with Mr Khan announcing on Thursday he would challenge the approval.

“London does not need more waste-burning incinerators. I have challenged the Secretary of State’s decision on the Cory Incinerator and have issued a claim to the planning court requesting a judicial review of that decision. We need to build the greener future our city deserves,” he said in a brief statement on social media.

The news was welcomed by Erith and Thamesmead MP Abena Oppong-Asare, who said building another incinerator at the Belvedere site “would be a step backwards”. 

“I am pleased that the Mayor has listened to concerns of my constituents and neighbouring residents in Dagenham and Rainham. This development raises serious environmental concerns and poses a threat to nearby habitats,” she said.

“The air pollution in London is a public health crisis that we need to be taking seriously and tackling head on. Building this incinerator would be a step backwards at a time when we need to be looking towards a much greener future.”

The approved scheme would see the creation of the Riverside Energy Park, which Cory says will divert up to 805,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste from landfill and convert it into low-carbon renewable electricity.

Concerns over its impact on the nearby Crossness Nature Reserve and air quality in the area led to local wildlife enthusiasts, Bexley councillors and neighbours opposing the plans.

Cory Riverside Energy said the majority of waste will be transported via barges on the River Thames, as it currently is to their existing Belvedere facility.

The firm also revealed they were in discussions with potential partners for a scheme which would see the energy park connected to a district heating network, making it capable of providing heat for around 10,500 local homes.

The Mayor’s office told the local democracy reporting service in April more incinerators in London would hamstring efforts to reach recycling targets in the capital.

“Burning waste in incinerators worsens London’s already toxic air quality and hinders boroughs from boosting recycling performance in order to reach the Mayor’s 65 per cent recycling target by 2030,” a spokesperson for the Mayor said.

The claims were rejected by Cory.

“The Secretary of State has clearly recognised that there is need for more residual waste processing capacity in the UK, and has granted us permission to develop the Riverside Energy Park in accordance with its Development Consent Order,” the spokesperson said.

“It is not true to suggest that energy from waste facilities suppress recycling rates. Instead, energy from waste not only complements recycling but it also offers a more sustainable solution than either landfill or the export of our non-recyclable waste, because it converts it into low-carbon energy to help power the national grid.”